Ice fight gets cash boost


Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Ali­son Bald­ing Are we win­ning the war against ice? @the­druitt

THE war on ice ad­dic­tion in Western Syd­ney has been given a $1.6 mil­lion boost.

The State Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced the fund­ing will be in­vested over four years for spe­cialised treat­ment and sup­port ser­vices, based out of Mt Druitt, for peo­ple ad­dicted to am­phet­a­mine-type stim­u­lants such as ice.

The fund­ing is be­ing dirrected through Western Syd­ney Lo­cal Health Dis­trict to the Cen­tre for Ad­dic­tion Medicine at Mt Druitt, seper­ate to the methadone clinic based on the grounds of Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal.

Western Syd­ney Lo­cal Health Dis­trict drug health di­rec­tor, Dr Nghi Phung, wel­comed the fund­ing.

“I think this is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress this is­sue and it is great to see that com­ing through as part of the elec­tion com­mit­ment,” she said.

“The fi­nal model of care of how this en­hance­ment will look is still be­ing for­malised. We are seek­ing to con­sult lo­cal stake­hold­ers, both in­ter­nal to Western Syd­ney Lo­cal Health Dis­trict and ex­ter­nal, to en­sure we have an in­clu­sive ap­proach.”

“We also plan to en­gage con­sumers in the process so the model is pur­pose-built for what con­sumers and car­ers re­ally need.”

She said while there was al­ready a broad spec­trum of treat­ment and sup­port ser­vices of­fered to peo­ple with sub­stance-use dis­or­ders, more re­search was needed. “They (the State Gov­ern­ment) def­i­nitely have been very in­clu­sive, at the very pre­lim­i­nary stages, in terms of scop­ing the ca­pac­ity for us to have this money work to its great­est ad­van­tage,” Dr Phung said. “Part of it is that we do have re­search ca­pac­ity in the lo­cal health dis­trict within our ser­vice to bring in ad­di­tional po­ten­tial treat­ment re­search.”

She de­scribed the fund­ing as a “very good start”.

“From a re­search point of view, to run a clin­i­cal trial we are talk­ing about mil­lions of dol­lars per year,” Dr Phung said.

“This may not be enough for that type of ex­er­cise, but it is still a very good start.”

Dr Phung said not a lot had changed in re­cent years as to how pa­tients were man­aged.

“If you look at med­i­ca­tions, a lot of the treat­ment tri­als suf­fer from small num­bers,” she said.

“Dex­am­phetamine is cer­tainly be­ing used in some of our ex­ist­ing clin­ics as a last re­sort, but even that is not a med­i­ca­tion that is of proven ben­e­fit through a ro­bust ran­domised con­trol-trial process.”

Any­one con­cerned about how ice is af­fect­ing them is urged to con­sult a GP, phone the Al­co­hol and Drug In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice on 1800 422 599, or visit your for de­tails.

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