Ice crushers fight back
As the ice epidemic rages the community is coming together to find solutions at a special summit at Mt Druitt next week.
MT DRUITT PCYC is hosting an ice summit next week in response to an alarming increase in the use of the drug in the region.
Western Sydney Local Area Health District has revealed more than 186 people passed through emergency departments in Western Sydney last year affected by the drug ice.
These staggering statistics are showing no sign of slowing down – having more than tripled since 2013.
Health district drug health director Nghi Phung told
The Standard these statistics were a modest representation of how ice was affecting the community.
“Not everybody comes through emergency departments; they can come through various other locations too,” she said.
“A five-year trend shows a sixfold increase in the five years to 2013.
“On top of that, there is reason to believe this outpatient trend is likely to continue.”
Mt Druitt PCYC is aiming to be part of the solution to the ice epidemic.
The region’s first summit will bring together various experts and drug and alcohol support organisations, in a bid to “start a conversation” with families affected by the drug.
The summit is supported by Good Sports project officer Penny Morgan, who said it was time to focus on a solution for the community.
“With the forum, we aim to bring together not-forprofit organisations, the community and sporting clubs to unite as a community,” Ms Morgan said.
“The big thing is there is a stigma about ice and people are scared of it,” she said.
“We aren’t stigmatising the drug, we are not worried about the problem – we are coming together for the solution.
“We need to get parents involved so it is sustainable at home – we need to get kids respecting their mums and dads.”
Mt Druitt PCYC manager Lance Chaloner encouraged everyone to attend. “A lot of parents and families feel like they are battling this on their own; we are trying to build some structure so they don’t feel isolated,” he said.
“There will be experts to help and answer questions people may have and can get you involved in support services and resolutions.”
Australian Drug Foundation spokeswoman Nikki Woolley said now was the time for change.
“We can no longer arrest our way out of the problem,” Ms Woolley said.
“This is a community problem needing a community solution.”
The summit will be at Mt Druitt PCYC, 453A Luxford Rd, Shalvey, on Wednesday, May 25, from 6pm. Details: 9628 2628.
Police, government and communities across NSW are all saying the same thing – we can no longer arrest our way out of the problem. This is a community problem which has a community solution Nikki Woolley
Ice summit organiser Penny Morgan said it was time to focus on a solution to the ice crisis. Picture: Phil Rogers