A woman who was formerly addicted to the drug ice and stood as a candidate in South Australia’s recent election has said that Adelaide will remain Australia’s “ice capital” unless there is more funding for drug rehabilitation.
A recent report that monitored Australian wastewater for the presence of drugs has revealed that Adelaide, especially its regional areas, is the country’s biggest consumer of ice AKA crystal methamphetamine.
A SA Best candidate in Mt Gambier, Kate Amoroso, has said that she gets daily correspondence from families who are desperate the get rehabilitation treatment for their children. She also said that the high cost and scarcity of treatment facilities has left many families hopeless and despaired.
Ms Amoroso said that many families contacted her since they “don’t know what to do”. She said that people were at the stage where they have no idea where to “turn for advice”.
She retold her story of how addiction took control of her and that her family had searched all around Australia for public service treatment. Her story ended by being detained in a Adelaide mental health centre and has remained sober for 3 years since.
She said that at its worst point her dependence on ice was setting her back $2,000 every week. She has criticised the government for focusing too much on “national roadshows” and less on education and rehabilitation solutions.
She said that “rehab” along with “education” were the secrets to “getting clean” and that if the government started hearing people with “lived experience” they may solve the “code”.
So far, $300 million has been committed by the Government as part of its National Ice Action Strategy. The SA government has added $8 million in funding for ice prevention and treatment through what is called the Ice Taskforce.
The wastewater monitoring report found that ice was the most commonly consumed illicit substance while nicotine and alcohol were the most commonly consumed legal ones. The report seemed to indicate a higher prevalence of ice addiction in regional areas.
Ann Roche, the Director for the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, said that the wastewater testing could only reveal so much information and was not necessarily a highly accurate view of how many people are using ice.
She said that the presence of ice in wastewater could be the result of a big group using small amount or a small group using large amounts, but that the report did not actually tell people how many Australians are using ice.
Despite this, she agreed that there was a “high demand for treatment services”.