Mansfield Courier

Ice Action Plan serves as ‘crystal ball’

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VICTORIA continues to lead Australia in the fight against crystal methamphet­amine with last Thursday’s release of the Premier’s Ice Action Plan, according to Penington Institute chief executive officer John Ryan.

“We welcome the government’s initiative because it will help thousands of families and people being harmed each day and night by crystal methamphet­amine,” Mr Ryan said.

“Sadly, Victoria has had to deal with this ahead of other states and territorie­s and we’ve been forced to all think through how best to reach out to communitie­s with support for recovery,” he said.

Mr Ryan is a member of the Pre- mier’s high-level Ice Action Taskforce and praised the $1.8 million commitment to help frontline Needle and Syringe Program staff work with ice-using clients.

“It’s vital that frontline workers who are there to help people addicted to ice get much needed support in their work and today’s plan does that,” Mr Ryan said.

“Ice is still challengin­g drug treatment services which are historical­ly under-resourced in Victoria.

“This plan gives a boost to agencies, particular­ly those in regional and rural areas that are really struggling to cope with the demand from clients and families.

“Other states must look carefully at how Victoria is now responding, coming off the back of the Parliament­ary Inquiry and the excellent community-based models which are now up and running.

“Crystal meth purity across Australia has caught up with Victoria.

“What has happened here, with ice wreaking havoc, is a crystal ball for other states and territorie­s to look at.

“We’ve learned the hard way that ice doesn’t creep up slowly, on a community or on a person.

“It moves fast and that’s what has to happen with the entire drug policy space, including federally,” Mr Ryan said.

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