Ice addiction on the rise in Port Lincoln

CONCERNED: Dr Raj Dhaliwal is concerned about drug use in Port Lincoln.

CONCERNED: Dr Raj Dhaliwal is concerned about drug use in Port Lincoln.

ICE addiction and general drug use is on the rise in Port Lincoln.

Local doctor Raj Dhaliwal said use of the highly addictive drug ice was on the rise, with some addicts spending hundreds of dollars a day on the drug.

Ice use can lead to psychosis and depression, and is extremely easy to overdose on, often causing death.

Dr Dhaliwal urged anyone who had started using the drug to see their GP and get into a program to help break the addiction before it was too late.

He said Port Lincoln was experiencing the same type of drug issues as Adelaide.

"We give out a lot of needle packs at the hospital," he said.

"We have a drug problem."

He said he was concerned to see local people had been caught selling drugs in Adelaide this month, one 19-year-old caught with ecstasy pills at the Stereosonic Festival and an 18-year-old at Schoolies Week.

He encouraged parents to be vigilant and check their teenagers' pockets and bags for drugs.

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine recently released findings of a snapshot survey that showed an alarming proportion of patients in Australia and New Zealand were attending emergency departments as a result of harmful alcohol consumption.

Dr Dhaliwal said while there was a high number of intoxicated people attending the Port Lincoln hospital on Saturday nights, the issue was not as serious as it was in metropolitan hospitals.

He said staff were sometimes verbally abused or threatened, however the assaults on staff reported in city hospitals were rare in the country.

The number of alcohol-related presentations have not reduced in the past year, but he said they had not increased either.

"The (pubs) lock out and the booze bus have helped," he said.

Alcohol-related injuries were mostly broken bones and lacerations, often from assaults and taking risks.

He said this occurred throughout the week, not just on weekends.

Dr Dhaliwal urged locals to drink in moderation.

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