Ice fight gets cash boost
STATE GOVERNMENT INVESTS MONEY TO HELP WAR ON DRUG
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 room.com.au for details.