Ice abuse hits fam­i­lies

RE­PORT OF­FERS REC­OM­MEN­DA­TIONS TO CURB DRUG EPI­DEMIC

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jenny Gal­braith and Ali­son Bald­ing

CHIL­DREN of ice users are go­ing to school hun­gry as the drug hits fam­i­lies across the area hard.

About 90 per cent of re­fer­rals to a Ne­pean child pro­tec­tion com­mu­nity ser­vice stem from the use of ice by par­ents, the com­mu­nity heard at the launch of the Ice Melt­down re­port at St Marys last week.

The re­port, handed down by Lind­say fed­eral Lib­eral MP Fiona Scott, out­lines 10 rec­om­men­da­tions that have been sub­mit­ted to the Na­tional Ice Task­force.

It was the only re­port by a com­mu­nity that was sub- mit­ted on time to the task­force, Ms Scott said.

“Ice is an in­sid­i­ous drug, ad­dic­tion is a hor­ri­ble thing, and when you’ve got an en­gaged com­mu­nity that want to find so­lu­tions and want to work to­gether, that is very pow­er­ful,” Ms Scott said.

St Marys po­lice crime man­ager De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Barry Vin­cent said the fo­rum opened his eyes to the amount of ser­vices in­volved in help­ing ice ad­dicts.

“We can’t ar­rest our way out of this mat­ter,” Insp Vin­cent said.

“There is cer­tainly a po­lice com­po­nent, es- pe­cially as we try to catch those mak­ing and selling this drug, but it will take a whole-of-com­mu­nity ap­proach to stop it.”

Ne­pean Com­mu­nity and Neigh­bour­hood Ser­vices gen­eral man­ager Joy Im­pi­om­bato said two years ago, child pro­tec­tion re­fer­rals were due to a com­bi­na­tion of drug use, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and other is­sues, but now it was mostly be­cause of ice.

“The me­dian age for ice users is in the high 20s, and that puts it right in the group who have young chil­dren,” Ms Im­pi­om­bato said.

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