Directions for South Australia – Crystal Methamphetamine

“A positive impact on dangerous drug use requires a compassionate, holistic approach for addicts, and a hard-line approach to stamping out supply.” – Kelly Vincent MLC

Introduction:

The use of crystal methamphetamine is a serious and growing social problem fuelled by the increase in supply and increased frequency of consumption among users.  Use of crystal methamphetamine is frequently related to violence, and the drug places a burden on our health system.

Since 2010, daily or weekly use of crystal methamphetamine has risen from 12.4% to 32% in 2016 (Claydon, C., Webber, K., & Sweeney, J., 2017).

In order to address the issue of drug use, and more specifically crystal methamphetamine use, Dignity Party believe we need a holistic approach to treating the addiction along with underlying causes of use such as education, poverty, mental health and socioeconomic status.

Dignity Party believe that accurate recording of crystal methamphetamine usage including waste water testing, is important to monitor the success of policy initiatives and trends in usage.

Crystal methamphetamine use has been of particular concern in regional South Australia and dedicated, local support is needed to address this.

A large proportion of prisoners entering the correctional services system have a history of substance misuse.  It is clear that we need effective drug rehabilitation implemented in South Australian prisons and juvenile detention centres, including programs suitable for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners as a matter of urgency. Dignity Party support more evidence based drug treatment and rehabilitation services being mandated for prisoners serving a prison sentence related to drug misuse.

Dignity Party believe that people wanting to enter drug rehabilitation and treatment facilities should not be placed on long waiting lists, and want to see more investment in rehabilitation and treatment facilities that have psychological support built into programs rather than hollow tough on drugs rhetoric.

Training and professional development for police officers, and hospital emergency department staff who regularly respond to members of the public who are under the influence of crystal methamphetamine, should be implemented as a harm minimisation practice.

Action:

Dignity Party understand the wicked problem that drug use in society often poses, and believe that an holistic, harm minimisation approach is urgently needed.

In South Australia we must:

  • Invest in drug treatment and rehabilitation services across South Australia, with particular focus on regional areas with high drug usage.
  • Reduce wait times for rehabilitation and drug treatment facilities.
  • Closely monitor the usage of crystal methamphetamine in South Australia through a variety of means including waste water analysis.
  • Fund dedicated drug treatment and rehabilitation services to be provided in South Australian prisons, and ensure prisoners have the right access to tools and services once released to continue their rehabilitation journey.
  • Invest in adequate training for front line workers who have regular contact with people who are addicted to or under the influence of crystal methamphetamine, promoting harm minimisation tactics.
  • Provide counselling services and community groups for partners, family and friends of people who are experiencing crystal methamphetamine addiction.

Dignity Party OPPOSE tough on drugs rhetoric which promotes gaol time without proper rehabilitation support.

Dignity Party PROPOSE an holistic approach to tackling crystal methamphetamine addiction and the reasons behind it.