McGowan’s meth promise

By Emma Taylor, Calvin Sims, Tan Foo Xian and Neelam Dajee

An expert has warned providing access to quality drug treatment outweighed the need for forced treatment options, as Premier Mark McGowan detailed new funding for the methamphetamine action plan.

The McGowan Government’s plan is part of the 2019-2020 State Budget and is designed to help reduce methamphetamine-related issues in Western Australia.

The Methamphetamine Action Plan includes more than $7 million for a total of 14 low medical beds in Midland and the Kimberley.

An additional $9.2 million for a new youth drug and alcohol service in the Kimberley as well as $1.5 million needle exchange program.

The Plan included a $1 million education program in schools to educate students about the dangers related to methamphetamine usage.

One of the more controversial aspects of the plan was a compulsory short term critical intervention centre in Midland.

Curtin University National Drug Research Institute Associate Professor Rebecca McKetin said compulsory crisis centres might not be the answer.

“In order to be ethical there has to be a treatment response that works, and you need something good to offer these people, which isn’t clear at the moment,” she said.

“We have a lot of people who want to go voluntarily into treatment but can’t get in. So providing quality and adequate treatment should be a priority rather than providing compulsory treatment.”

If you or anyone you know is experiencing substance abuse, or mental health issues contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.