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Methamphetamine use problems a rising concern in Port Hedland

Date posted: 15 June 2017

According to the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia's Chairwoman, Michelle Nelson-Cox, issues surrounding meth use are starting to become as serious as those caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

'While there is evidence that alcohol use is still higher than methamphetamine use, from the Aboriginal community perspective, we are certainly seeing methamphetamine use becoming just as significant as alcohol use. They want community-led solutions and want to work with Government departments but all they are getting is lip-service,' said the Ms Nelson-Cox.

Port Hedland Bloodwood Tree Chief Executive, Kelly Howlett, agrees with Ms Nelson-Cox, in terms of noting a rise in the illicit drug use.

Ms Howlett said that 'While it has risen significantly, it has not yet here in Port/South Hedland overtaken excessive alcohol use. Excessive alcohol use is still our primary area of focus. This could be attributed to the comparative ease in availability, lower cost, social acceptability and legal status of alcohol compared to methamphetamine.'

Despite AHCWA’s claim of services being unprepared for the shift, Ms Howlett said Bloodwood Tree provided services, not only for those in need of methamphetamine intervention, but also for family members and carers, through counselling and a range of sober living programs.

Reflecting on her organisation, Ms Howlett said that 'Bloodwood Tree provides counselling, both as a one-on-one and group support programs such as our SMART Group and the Safe, Sober Strong Program.'

Source: The West Australian

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Last updated: 21 June 2017
 
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