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Pat Conaghan MP

Continued funding to tackle scourge of methamphetamines

As part of our plan for a stronger future, the Morrison Government will extend the National Ice Action Strategy (NIAS), investing more than $343 million over four years in the ongoing fight to reduce the impact of ice, other drugs and alcohol.

This investment includes an additional $27.9 million being committed to support other critical drug and alcohol treatment projects in areas of identified need.

The Government will invest around $830 million in alcohol and other drug treatment services and programs over the next four years.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan welcomed the announcement, and said the Government is increasing its efforts at every level to reduce the impact of drug and alcohol use on individuals, families, and communities.

“As a former police officer, I’ve seen first-hand the devastating impact of drug use on not just families but entire communities. The Coalition Government’s investment into the National Ice Action Strategy for a further four years, allows local organisations throughout the Mid North Coast and across the country to continue delivering innovative, community-based solutions to curb use of drugs such as methamphetamines,” Mr Conaghan said.

“This is particularly important for high-risk population groups, including people in rural and regional areas and indigenous communities.”

National wastewater drug monitoring shows methamphetamine use has reduced for the second consecutive year. And MDMA, cocaine and heroin consumption have all fallen.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt said while this was a good sign, there is still work to be done.

“For too many Australians, illegal drugs are still an insidious scourge on our community, robbing families of their loved ones,” Minister Hunt said.

“The Morrison Government is committed to building safe and healthy communities, reducing the impacts and harms of drug and alcohol use for individuals, their families and their communities.”

Estimates from 2019 suggest that roughly 300,000 Australians used methamphetamines in the past 12 months, with over half of these using crystal methamphetamine, or ice.

The four most common drugs that people seek treatment for are alcohol (34%), amphetamines (28%), cannabis (18%), and heroin (5.1%).

Since its inception in 2016, the NIAS has helped thousands of people gain access to treatment programs and supported communities to tackle local drug and alcohol issues with local solutions.

By committing to the NIAS for a further four years, the Morrison Government is ensuring critical treatment and other programs are continued and improved.

For further details about the National Ice Action Strategy, visit the Department of Health website.

 

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