Ice Taskforce begins community outreach

The SA Ice Taskforce hosted the first in a series of community forums designed to engage local stakeholders in the development of a rapid response to the ice epidemic earlier this month.

Held in the Northern Suburbs, the forum kicked off a series of similar events through the state including in Whyalla, Murray Bridge, Mount Gambier and Adelaide’s Southern Suburbs.

Local forums are an opportunity for the Taskforce to learn about local challenges and opportunities, and hear from stakeholders and those who have been impacted by the drug.

The Northern Suburbs Forum was attended by a range of government and non-government agencies including Uniting Communities, Mission Australia, Life Without Barriers, Salvation Army, Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council, Family Drug Support, Adelaide Primary Health Network, Drug and Alcohol Support SA (DAASA) and SA Police (SAPOL).

Combatting the rise of ice is a key social justice and law and order priority for the Government in 2017. The taskforce has been charged with developing a response to the issue by early May 2017.

The Taskforce will consider legislative changes, prevention and treatment pathways, and increased community education before providing a response to the Premier by the beginning of May 2017, to be considered ahead of the State Budget.

Led by Police Minister Pete Malinauskas, members of the taskforce include the Minister for Substance Abuse Leesa Vlahos, SAPOL Assistant Commissioner Linda Fellows and senior representatives from Drug and Alcohol Services SA (DASSA).

Ice use in South Australia has tripled in the past four years, with the latest waste water testing showing 400 doses per week per 1,000 South Australians.

The response will align with the South Australian Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy 2017-2021 and National Ice Taskforce.

Minister for Substance Abuse, Leesa Vlahos, said tackling the issue head on was key.

“In tackling this complex social problem, it is important we work across government to ensure effective prevention, early intervention, law enforcement and treatment responses,” she said.

“Methamphetamine use continues to rise and this is taking a toll on families, our health system and the wider community.”

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