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Ferguson Must Fund Drug Health Programs in Budget

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 27 March 2017

Tags: Health, Drug Policy, Police, Methamphetamine

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Health spokesperson

The ACIC's National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report, released over the weekend, is proof of the alarming level of ice use in Tasmania.  It's clear evidence that the government is failing to fix the problem.

This, along with other recent reports, shows an increase in use, and of addiction and related hospital admissions.

The Health Minister needs to commit significant funds in this year’s State Budget to early intervention and treatment services across Tasmania.  This is especially true in regional areas, where they are desperately lacking.

The Liberals, so far, have failed to budget for early intervention and education, and have dismissed the Greens' calls for drug law reform.

The number of people receiving drug diversions to health services from the police is declining, last year dropping from 216 to 178.  

The drug diversion program is not being utilised, and people taking drugs for personal use continue to be on a track to prison, rather than recovery.

The national call for a conversation about drug reform, and the evidence that the current approach is causing more harm, are falling on deaf ears under the Hodgman Government.

The lack of support for drug users and their families is stark.  Recent cuts to social and youth workers make the situation in regional Tasmania even more critical.

Community organisations, along with former Premiers, police commissioners and prosecutors, are calling for drug abuse to be treated as a health issue. The Liberals must heed the calls.