St Vincent's expert warms to Govt ice plan

Head of emergency at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, Dr Gordian Fuldem, has praised a $150 million Federal Government plan to combat the "ice" crystal methamphetamine epidemic.

The Federal Government's pledge to tackle the epidemic "acknowledges that it is a very large and very real problem," Dr Fulde told the Catholic Weekly.

"It also acknowledges that the solution to the problem is difficult and you have got to attack it from various sides," he says.

The Federal Government has announced a $150 million plan over four years to combat the use of ice.

Dr Fulde says the scourge of ice is "going to haunt us for a long time" and applauds the Government's pledge as "absolutely the right thing and exactly spot on".

The multi million dollar strategy - the latest in the Government's Tough on Drugs initiative - will fund rehabilitation services, national school and parent education programs, as well as drug crime prevention.

Most of the funding ($80 million) will go to non-government organisations for drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres.

The Government will specify that a large amount of that money be spent on treatment centres for ice users.

Dr Fulde says the funding will provide essential resources for individuals and their families affected by the drug.

He says the ice epidemic "is inflicting harm on every level of society - from journalists to doctors to lawyers, to everyday people driving a truck, to whatever".


SOURCE
$150m plan to fight 'ice' is 'spot on' - expert (Catholic Weekly, 6/5/07)

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4 May 2007