BREAK THE ICE PLAGUE

COM­MU­NITY SER­VICES UN­DER ONE ROOF TO PRO­VIDE SUP­PORT

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Clarissa Bye

A PI­O­NEER­ING group of com­mu­nity ser­vice pro­fes­sion­als will be brought to­gether at Mt Druitt in an ef­fort to com­bat the harm­ful so­cial ef­fects of the ice epi­demic.

A top-level meet­ing of wel­fare, hous­ing and med­i­cal agen­cies has been sched­uled for July 13 to kick­start the in­ter­ven­tion.

The idea of the com­mu­nity hub —– to help those in most need — is a key rec­om­men­da­tion of a spe­cial re­port on deal­ing with the es­ca­lat­ing drug prob­lem in the area.

Mt Druitt Po­lice Cit­i­zens Youth Club will host the dis­cus­sion and ser­vices are ex­pected to be­gin within weeks.

The use of ice, or metham­phetamine, has be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar, with three peo­ple a week on av­er­age caught us­ing it in Mt Druitt and St Marys.

Be­tween 2010 and 2014 there was a 283 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of peo­ple caught us­ing or pos­sess­ing am­phet­a­mines.

So­cial work­ers hope that bring­ing all the front­line pro­fes­sion­als to­gether will help pre­vent the vi­cious cir­cle many users spi­ral into.

A PI­O­NEER­ING one-stop shop of com­mu­nity ser­vices will be brought un­der one roof in Mt Druitt in an ef­fort to com­bat the harm­ful so­cial ef­fects of the ice epi­demic.

A top-level meet­ing by wel­fare, hous­ing and med­i­cal agen­cies has been sched­uled to meet on July 13 to kick­start the in­ter­ven­tion. It fol­lows one of the key rec­om­men­da­tions of the Lind­say com­mu­nity sub­mis­sion to the Na­tional Ice Task­force, which held fo­rums in western Syd­ney re­cently.

The Mt Druitt Po­lice Cit­i­zens Youth Club will host the dis­cus­sion, with ser­vices ex­pected to be­gin in weeks.

Ice, or metham­phetamine use, has be­come a grow­ing prob­lem, with three peo­ple be­ing caught on av­er­age a week in Mt Druitt and St Marys sub­urbs.

The latest fig­ures re­veal a 283 per cent in­crease in peo­ple caught with the drug in the area be­tween 2010 and 2014, not in­clud­ing the many cases that go un­re­ported.

Ac­cord­ing to PCYC Mt Druitt man­ager Lance Chaloner, the club was ideally placed to cre­ate con­nec­tions with not just young peo­ple, but among their mums, dads and ex­tended fam­ily. “We re­ally need to cre­ate a place where they can come to get ad­vice and help,” he said.

Lind­say fed­eral Lib­eral MP Fiona Scott has handed the re­port into the drug prob­lem, Ice Melt­down, to Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott. It says that “silo­ing” by var­i­ous gov­ern­ment agen­cies acts as a bar­rier in fight­ing the ice scourge.

Dell Froio, from Evocca Col­lege, which trains so­cial work­ers, said the idea was for a per­ma­nent “friendly com­mu­nity” hub, to make it eas­ier for res­i­dents to re­ceive sup­port from gov­ern­ment ser­vices.

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