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Ice taskforce report shifts focus from policing to treatment

Date posted: 3 December 2015

The federal government's National ice taskforce has found rehabilitation services are falling short of demand and has recommended governments invest more money in treatment and rehabilitations.

Fiona Nash, the minister in charge of drug and alcohol policy, noted that authorities can no longer try to 'arrest their way out of the ice problem' and that more needed to be done to reduce demand for the drug.

The taskforce has found specialist treatment services are simply unable to keep up with demand, and recommends that federal, state and territory governments invest more money in alcohol and other drug treatment services that are evidence-based and link to social, education and vocational support. It also recommended that governments improve the planning for long-term treatment services, including lengthening funding periods so services aren't left working from grant to grant.

'I hope we don't see a continued focus on a law enforcement response in dealing with ice,' said Harm Reduction Australia president, Gino Vumbaca. 'I couldn't think of one service off the top of my head that doesn't have a waiting list. It is one of the biggest hurdles to get to the point where you say 'I have got to do something' [about my addiction] and then we say 'come back in three months.'

Senator Nash said the government would soon release its response.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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Last updated: 3 December 2015
 
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute