Money in Budget to fight meth addiction

The State Government has put aside $14.9 million to help reduce the demand for methamphetamine and to provide support for meth addicts.

The funds will be used to create 60 new beds for meth users, open a new specialist clinic for meth users and provide frontline support for nurses in emergency departments.

Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell said meth was a scourge and a holistic program was required to deal with it.

“It’s not one treatment program, it is a range of treatment processes; education and support that will make a difference,” Ms Mitchell said.

Treasurer Mike Nahan said the State Government was committed to providing a cross-agency approach to dealing with drug addiction, involving the Mental Health Commission, WA Police, Department of Education and the Department of Corrective Services.

“The funding builds on the work being undertaken by WA Police to disrupt the supply of the drugs into the community,” Dr Nahan said.

“The new measures unveiled in the State Budget complement the work already underway within our WA Meth Strategy and the Australian Government’s ICE action plan.”

Ms Mitchell said meth took a heavy toll on users, but also on families and the community.

“It will reduce our meth issue and we aim through education stopping supply and reducing the harm through this field,” Ms Mitchell said.

Meth use in WA is higher than the national average, with 3.8 per cent of the population over the age of 14 using the drug.

Police Minister Liza Harvey said disrupting the supply was a key priority for the State Government because there was a 40.8 per cent increase in amphetamine-type stimulant arrests between 2013 and 2015.

The Budget will also include $5.5 million for roadside alcohol and drug testing as part of the WA Police Meth Enforcement Action Plan.

Categories: Politics

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