Victoria’s drugs crisis continues to worsen, according to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, says Shadow Minister Mental Health Emma Kealy.
The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program report, released last week, reveals Victoria has the highest heroin use in the nation. Consumption is so high that it nearly exceeded the estimated annual consumption of all other Australian states combined.
Between August 2017 and August 2018, Victoria also recorded the nation’s second highest consumption of methylamphetamine, MDMA and cocaine.
The scourge of illicit drugs continues to plague the regions, with sites monitored in Regional Victoria recording the highest regional consumption of Ice and MDMA. In Melbourne, use of heroin far exceeded any other Australian capital city.
Under Daniel Andrews we have seen drug use and overdoses skyrocket, drug-associated crime spiral out of control and wait lists for drug treatment blow out to over a year.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Mental Health Emma Kealy
Drug and alcohol abuse is a very serious problem in both our cities and our regional communities, but the Andrews Labor Government continues to fall behind by taking no action to deal with Victoria’s drug crisis.
Waitlists for rehab services have blown out with people seeking urgent help being told they will have to wait months to get a rehab bed – it’s just not good enough.
Under Labor there are more drugs on the streets, our educators don’t have time or funding to provide drug awareness education to students, there’s limited ability for judges to send young people to mandatory drug treatment rather than jail, and parents have been left with a feeling that no one will help them save their child’s life.
When addicts are genuinely reaching out for help to get clean, we must ensure rehabilitation services are ready and able to meet their needs.
Drug abuse is destroying lives. We can’t risk turning people away who are struggling with addiction and genuinely reaching out for help.
Drug addiction isn’t just a Melbourne problem, today’s report again confirms it’s a problem across all our state, including in regional Victoria. It’s vitally important that we have the right services, in the right places to provide genuine support to help people get their lives back on track – no matter where they live.
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