Treat Ice Addiction as Health Issue: Experts

Despite the recommendations of the Ice Taskforce, the Australian government continues to define the problem of ice addiction as a criminal justice problem rather than as a health and social issue with dire consequences, say experts writing in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Dr Matthew Frei, Clinical Director of Turning Point, and Dr Alex Wodak, Emeritus Consultant, from St Vincent’s Hospital’s Alcohol and Drug Service in Sydney, wrote that “the prevailing theme of the Ice Taskforce report was an emphasis on drug treatment over law enforcement measures as a response to ice use”, but that the government had failed to act on its recommendations.

“Governments continue to define the issue as primarily a criminal justice problem, use pejorative terms when referring to people who use drugs, and generously support law enforcement measures while parsimoniously funding health and social interventions,” they wrote.

“Australian Commonwealth, state and territory governments allocated about two-thirds of drug spending to law enforcement and only 9% for prevention, 21% for drug treatment and 2% to harm reduction over the 2009–10 financial year.

Originally Published by the Australian Journal of Pharmacy, continue reading here.

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