Fo­cus on kids in ice fight

SCHOOL-BASED CUR­RICU­LUM

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Lia Har­ris How can we re­duce the rate of peo­ple tak­ing ice? @the­druitt

IF WE hope to solve the ice epi­demic we need to tar­get chil­dren as young as 11, ac­cord­ing to a com­mu­nity re­port from one of Syd­ney’s worst-af­fected ar­eas.

Pri­mary school drug ed­u­ca­tion was on a list of 10 rec­om­men­da­tions from a fo­rum of com­mu­nity lead­ers, health pro­fes­sion­als, po­lice, cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers and fam­i­lies af­fected by the drug in the Lind­say elec­torate.

The group also rec­om­mended re­cov­er­ing ice users be moved out of “hot spot” ar­eas to re­duce temp­ta­tion and that a 24-hour na­tional hot­line be es­tab­lished di­rect­ing users to detox cen­tres and sup­port ser­vices.

The re­port – com­piled by MP Fiona Scott dur­ing a com­mu­nity fo­rum in Kingswood in April at­tended by more than 100 peo­ple – was handed to Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott and the new Na­tional Ice Task­force last week.

The Lind­say elec­torate in­cludes the Pen­rith Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area, where statis­tics show a quar­ter of all crime is com­mit­ted by some­one un­der the in­flu­ence of am­phet­a­mines.

Ms Scott said she was “alarmed” by the grow­ing rate of ice ar­rests and or­gan­ised the fo­rum to give the com­mu­nity the chance to come up with so­lu­tions.

She said in­cor­po­rat­ing ed­u­ca­tion into the school cur­ricu­lum was a “re­cur­ring theme” dur­ing the fo­rum and the ma­jor­ity of

In­tro­duce a na­tion­wide com­mu­nity aware­ness cam­paign to de­mys­tify and deglam­or­ise ice

In­tro­duce a school-based cur­ricu­lum pro­vid­ing tools for young peo­ple to re­sist ice

En­cour­age a sep­a­rate study to de­velop a tar­geted ap­proach for at-risk groups

Pro­vide ad­e­quate sup­port ser­vices

Es­tab­lish a 24-hour na­tional hot­line for sup­port ser­vices

In­te­grate re­cov­er­ing ad­dicts into a ‘Back Into Life’ pro­gram

En­cour­age bet­ter in­te­gra­tion of ser­vices from all lev­els of gov­ern­ment

Es­tab­lish a ded­i­cated web­site with links to ser­vices, on­line chats with health pro­fes­sion­als and an on­line self-testing ser­vice those in­volved be­lieved it should also in­clude pri­mary school-aged chil­dren.

“The over­whelm­ing thought was that they wanted to see some ed­u­ca­tion as early as pri­mary school.”

The re­port in­cluded case stud­ies from fam­i­lies af­fected by ice, in­clud­ing a fa­ther-of-two who spent $120,000 on his ad­dic­tion and an­other user who was forced to wait more than three hours for ad­mis­sion to a detox unit be­fore giv­ing up.

The re­sults of the fo­rum will be dis­cussed at a pre­sen­ta­tion in St Marys on Thurs­day.

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