BUDGET REPLY: LABOR ANNOUNCES MANDATORY DETOX AND REHAB FOR ICE ADDICTS

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A Labor Government will combat head-on the scourge of ice in NSW, with its plan for mandatory detoxification and rehabilitation of ice addicts – for minors in the first instance, and then for adults.

In his Budget Reply speech today, NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley announced that a Labor Government led by him will take the most dangerous ice addicts off the streets, out of the State’s emergency departments and get them the help they need.

Labor will open six clinics across the state for the mandatory detoxification and rehabilitation of patients with severe ice addictions who pose a risk to the community and themselves. 

Labor will fund six facilities attached to public hospitals with a total of 150 beds – four will be located in regional NSW – at a cost of $100 million.

The clinics will treat up to 1,300 ice addicts a year and will be staffed by specially trained nurses, health professionals and security guards.

Police and health professionals will be able to refer and take patients to the clinic where an accredited medical practitioner will assess the patient and issue a certificate to admit them. A magistrate must review the admission. The requirements will be similar to the admission process for the current Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program (IDAT).

For minors, the compulsory treatment will be at the approval of their parent or guardian.

As well as implementing ice rehabilitation clinics, a NSW Labor Government will:

  • Create isolation rooms in select emergency departments to manage ice addicts and protect health workers;
  • Expand the trial of new replacement drugs to beat ice addiction (such as those being trialled at Darlinghurst, Newcastle and Mount Druitt); and
  • Host a bipartisan drug summit in 2019, modelled on the historic 1999 summit to respond to changes in illicit drug use over the last 20 years.

Since 2011, the number of deaths relating to methamphetamines has doubled. The NSW Government cannot continue to do nothing.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“There are, sadly, too many families who know the damage that ice can do. Treating ice addiction requires a new approach.

“Ice is taking a heavy toll on our young people – especially in rural and regional communities – and I will not let it continue to go unchallenged.

“A Labor Government will combat head-on the scourge of ice with six clinics across the State which will provide compulsory detoxification and rehabilitation of ice addicts.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord

“Ice is a devastating drug that can that causes violence and psychosis.

“Ice addicts pose a risk to themselves, their families, the police, our paramedics and health workers; Labor’s plan will get them the help they need. 

“Labor has a health-based therapeutic approach that will protect the community and provide individual addicts with the intensive treatment they need to recover from their addiction.”