Ice Action Plan serves as ‘crystal ball’
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.