HIGHEST NUMBER OF DRUG DEATHS IN TWENTY YEARS DEMANDS MORE TREATMENT OPTIONS
The Turnbull Government must urgently invest in drug and alcohol treatment services, after data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed Australia recorded the highest number of drug deaths in twenty years.
One in five drug deaths had a psychostimulant present in 2016 – including ice, speed and ecstasy. Of particular note is the fact that meth/amphetamines are nearly five times as likely to be present in a drug induced death as they were in 1999.
In addition, opioids – both in the form of illicit drugs and in prescription medicines – continue to be a significant issue and a leading cause of drug induced death.
We can’t help people with addiction problems if they have nowhere to go. Drug and alcohol treatment services are overstretched and struggling to keep up with demand – and as a result many services are being forced to close their waiting lists and turn people away.
That’s why the Government must do more and invest in rehabilitation. Under the Government’s National Ice Strategy, only six of 31 Primary Health Networks across Australia have commissioned residential rehabilitation services.
These statistics should be a wakeup call to the Government. They need to ensure everyone with addiction problems has the right treatment option available, instead of being turned away from overburdened and overstretched services.