Re­port’s meth fo­cus not enough

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - Jac­inta Can­ta­tore

HAR­VEY Lo­cal Drug Ac­tion Group has wel­comed a State Govern­ment re­port on metham­phetamine use, but warned more needs to be done to ad­dress the fall­out from ad­dic­tion to all drugs.

The Metham­phetamine Ac­tion Plan Task­force re­leased a re­port high­light­ing the chal­lenges faced by com­mu­ni­ties and pro­vided in­sights from in­di­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies, ser­vice providers and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives on how to best tackle the is­sue.

“The WA Govern­ment’s re­ac­tion to com­mu­nity con­cerns in­di­cates they are lis­ten­ing to the peo­ple by im­ple­ment­ing a course of ac­tion that will as­sist our com­mu­ni­ties to be­come a safer place,” group sec­re­tary Ja­nine Quicke said.

Ms Quicke said the re­port’s find- ings that preven­tion, early in­ter­ven­tion, re­duc­ing the stigma around ad­dic­tion and mak­ing it eas­ier to get help and sup­port for users and their fam­i­lies were aims in com­mon with the group’s fo­cus on harm re­duc­tion.

She said metham­phetamine use was a very “talked about” prob­lems, but it was not the only is­sue.

“The task­force’s com­mit­ment to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of an ac­tion plan will be wel­comed by com­mu­ni­ties,” she said.

“How­ever it, should not de­tract from statis­tics which show 85.5 per cent of Aus­tralians aged 14 years old and above have con­sumed al­co­hol one or more times in their lives and 37.7 per cent have used to­bacco, while only 6.3 per cent have used metham­phetamines.

“All of these drugs are highly ad­dic­tive and they all have ca­pac­ity to cause harm and even death.”

Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook said the State Govern­ment was com­mit­ted to re­duc­ing the harm, sup­ply and de­mand of metham­phetamine.

“But for real so­lu­tions to work, we must bet­ter un­der­stand the chal­lenges our com­mu­ni­ties face and their views on how best to tackle the prob­lem,” he said.

“The con­sul­ta­tion re­port from the Metham­phetamine Ac­tion Plan Task­force pro­vides valu­able in­for­ma­tion and in­sights from those di­rectly af­fected by metham­phetamine use.”

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