Ice Taskforce forum at Murray Bridge

Ice addicts cannot access affordable rehabilitation in regional areas, the South Australian Ice Taskforce heard at a forum in Murray Bridge last week.

Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick attended the forum with fellow key stakeholders and said the hardest hitting information came from a local former ice addict and the parents of a current addict.

"Among the 30 of us, a lot of issues were put on the table but rehabilitation stood out for those directly impacted by ice," he said.

"Education and prevention are key too but we found that once people are caught up with ice, we need better ways to help them stop as quickly as possible."

He said the parents of an ice addict told the forum that waiting time to access assistance was too high.

"It was very moving to hear from these families... these are people just trying to help their family member get off this addiction," he said.

“The parents said that it was not until recently that they even knew about the Family Drug Support Australia service."

Mr Pederick spoke to the forum about offering more rehabilitation.

"I've known a person who got involved with ice and it effects people in a very debilitating way," he said.

"Alcohol is still the biggest problem as far as drugs and alcohol goes but ice has that dramatic individual impact and it's hard to know if a person will ever come back."

"Two per cent of people have tried ice or are on ice right now and it has a huge affect on a person and their personality."

He said there needed to be a one-stop-shop of information to inform people of what help is out there.

"There are services but people aren't sure where to start," he said.

“It’s not just one particular group of people who are affected by ice, it can happen right across the board to just about anyone.”

Due to minimal access to support, Mr Pederick said the former addict went to a clinic in Sydney for help.

He said Murray Bridge was not alone in this, as there are not enough services to match demand in the regions.

The ice taskforce was formed on February 14 with a 60 day timeline for community engagement before considering legislative changes, prevention and treatment pathways for those affected, and increased community education.

The Murray Bridge forum was one of three held in regional areas to allow the state taskforce to learn about local challenges and opportunities, and hear from stakeholders and those who directly impacted by the drug.

Forums will also be held in Whyalla, Mount Gambier and Adelaide’s southern suburbs.

At the end of the 60-day consultation period, Mr Pederick said the government would discuss what can be implemented in the next state budget to tackle the issue.