Com­bat­ing ice in re­gional Aus­tralia

Isis Town and Country - - News -

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 cdat-com­mu­nity-drug-ac­tion­teams.

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