Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Arrests Won't Stop Ice Epidemic

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Arrests Won't Stop Ice Epidemic

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Howard Tim.Howard@dailyexaminer.com.au

What is ice

Ice is the most pure form of the class of drugs known as amphetamines. The 'high' experienced from ice is much more intense and with intense reactions come powerful responses including comedown, the potential for dependence (addiction) and chronic physical and mental problems.

LAW enforcement, by itself, will not win the war against the drug ice say authorities.

"We can't arrest our way out of this" was one comment Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan remembers clearly from a summit he organised for his electorate last week to discuss tackling the ice problem.

"It was something one of the police raised straight away," Mr Hogan said.

Mr Hogan said the purpose of the meeting involving both police commands in his electorate, community workers, service clubs and health authorities was to brief Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash on the issues around the ice epidemic.

"I think the Minister left with a much clearer picture in her mind about the problems," Mr Hogan said.

"The problem is not isolated to cities. It is occurring across the board in rural and regional areas.

"And it is affecting these communities much more than other drugs have in the past."

Mr Hogan said a number of government ministers will have to get on board if the government is serious about the problem.

"Over the past three to four months, I've been talking to a number of ministers: justice, health, education and social services to name some, which illustrates how widespread the problem is," he said.

"It's not a problem for a single government department, or the government. It's something the whole community needs to confront."

Mr Hogan believes the minister will make an announcement soon about the measure it will take to deal with the problem.

He said educating young people about the nature of the drug before they're exposed to it is a proven method to lower its impact.

"We've seen it with the anti-smoking awareness campaigns and alcohol abuse awareness," he said. …

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