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Alcohol restrictions spike increase in use of 'ice' in Western Australian

Date posted: 19 May 2015

Alcohol restrictions lead to a dramatic increase in the use of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, in northern Western Australia (WA), say community leaders.

The National Council on Drugs has toured the Pilbara, getting feedback on drug use issues across the region, in particular the use of ice.

The group held a council meeting in Roebourne, and then visited communities like Nullagine and Marble Bar.

Federal MP, Melissa Price, said ice was selling cheaper than alcohol in some parts of the Kimberley.

She said liquor restrictions have created a black market for alcohol in some areas, making methamphetamines a much cheaper option.

'You might be able to buy a bottle of scotch for $200 but you can buy a shard of ice for $15 so people are saying it's not just alcohol you've got to worry about, it's also ice,' she said.

The council was escorted by Professor Gary Hulse, an Addiction Specialist at the University of WA, who said community leaders explained why alcohol restrictions were an issue.

He said it was evident many Aboriginal communities were trying their best to keep methamphetamines out but the strict policing of liquor restrictions in places like Nullagine was driving some young people to use harder drugs.

'Young people are saying we can't carry alcohol in the community, but of course they're aware that things like ice, it's much easier to carry without being targeted by the police,' he said.

Professor Hulse called for the State Government to review its regime of alcohol restrictions to see if they were proving counter-productive.

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation


Last updated: 18 May 2015
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