My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Health, who is in the chamber. It deals with the proliferation of the use of ice in our community. The Victoria Police statistics that were recently released indicate that there has been a 21 per cent increase in the use of crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as ice. Health professionals in Western Victoria Region indicate to me that this is reflected in our local communities. For example, the Glenelg Southern Grampians Drug Treatment Service manager, Bev McIlroy, believes that ice is being much more widely distributed in our communities. She said:
“It has infiltrated the broader community. It is coming from different sources and can be found in all our local cities and towns, and in the smaller district regions.
It is prevalent everywhere. Young people are experimenting with it, which is very dangerous, and others in the drug-using community are using it, often in association with alcohol, which adds to the problem.”
Geoff Soma from the Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre also says that he has seen a significant spike in the number of people using ice. He says that there has been a significant increase, particularly in the last few weeks. You really do not know what is in ice. It is concocted in labs all over the place, including pop-up labs.
The action I seek from the minister is that he outline the specific strategies the Department of Health is putting in place to tackle the high usage of ice and in particular the specific strategies that are being put in place in Western Victoria Region to tackle this very difficult situation, which is impacting on the health of all people but particularly younger people in our local communities and even reaching the most isolated communities in the region.