Meth use makes me sick

The Morning Bulletin - - OPINION - FRAZER PEARCE Ed­i­tor

I HAVE spot­ted two sets of data which point to mis­placed pri­or­i­ties plagu­ing this coun­try.

One is the alarm­ing fall in the per­cent­age of the pop­u­la­tion (45.5 per cent) cov­ered by pri­vate health in­sur­ance and the other is a re­port show­ing Aus­tralia has the high­est rate of meth ad­dic­tion in the world.

So while fewer of us can af­ford the es­ca­lat­ing cost of health in­sur­ance, a fright­en­ing num­ber are pre­pared to pay big money for il­le­gal and highly ad­dic­tive drugs.

Which of the two is the bet­ter long-term in­vest­ment?

The Crime and Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion in its Il­licit drug mar­kets in Qld: 2015—16 in­tel­li­gence as­sess­ment high­lighted that methy­lam­phetamine con­tin­ued to be rated as the il­licit drug mar­ket that posed the high­est level of risk in the state — “due to the high level of in­volve­ment by or­gan­ised crime, its ready avail­abil­ity, and the sig­nif­i­cant harms the drug causes to in­di­vid­ual users and the com­mu­nity”.

Mean­while, the big­gest con­cern in the health in­sur­ance drop off is the trend of young peo­ple, aged 20-34, dump­ing their cover. I won­der how many have drug ex­pense is­sues?

The irony is that drug users will need se­ri­ous med­i­cal help at some­time – and the tax­payer will be look­ing af­ter that.

The other slap in the face for those who go with­out to af­ford health in­sur­ance is while pol­icy num­bers fall, health fund prof­its con­tinue to soar to over $1.38 bil­lion.

By 2051, pre­dicts that if cur­rent trends con­tinue, the aver­age fam­ily will be spend­ing 20.2 per cent of their wages on health in­sur­ance.

We need ur­gent re­form now.

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