Combating ice in regional Australia
DRUGS are becoming an epidemic in regional and remotes areas of Australia and small communities are being hit hard, with users destroying families and communities.
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has welcomed additional funding to help fight the ice epidemic.
The National Ice Strategy will strengthen responses across education, prevention, treatment, support and community engagement.
Mr Pitt said the Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast Public Health Network would receive $2,275,910 per year for three years ($6,827,730 in total) for drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.
The money will start rolling out from July 1.
“This funding is for primary services such as early intervention and after-care, but can also be used for residential rehabilitation,” he said.
In addition to this funding, $19.2 million nationwide is being provided for Community Drug Action Teams.
“These teams are run and led by the community, so they are right at the heart of identifying what the issues surrounding alcohol and drug abuse are in a community,” Mr Pitt said.
“Ice is a big problem in many regional towns – including Bundaberg and Hervey Bay – and anything we can do to get the community involved and thinking about what needs to be done is a great initiative,” he said.
Community Drug Action Teams have been successfully run in New South Wales since 1999. CDATs are groups of volunteers who work together to minimise and prevent the harmful use of alcohol and other drugs in their neighbourhoods.
CDATs have led thousands of activities to engage at-risk youth and educate parents and the community through community activities and campaigns to curb alcoholfuelled violence and drug use.
CDATs unite parents, schools, TAFE and universities, government and health workers, law enforcement, businesses, community organisations and local residents who want to create safer and healthier communities.
CDATs are guided by drug and alcohol harm-prevention research, with the Australian Drug Foundation supporting teams using the latest research on effective community development and health promotion activities.
For more information on CDATs, visit www.adf.org.au/ cdat-community-drug-actionteams.