Focus on kids in ice fight
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.