Ice crisis triggers call for bi-partisan drug summit
FOLLOWING new research into methamphetamine, Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord has called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to hold a drug summit at NSW State Parliament.
Newly released National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre data shows methamphetamine-related deaths in Australia doubled from 2009 to 2015, with 41% of those deaths in rural and regional areas.
Mr Secord said the report was "heart-breaking” and that he was aware of a North Coast family that were forced to travel to the State's Central West to access drug rehabilitation treatment.
He proposed the drug summit be modelled on a 1999 meeting, which targeted heroin and gave rise to a supervised injecting room in Kings Cross, Sydney.
He called for the summit to include a special session on the challenges and treatment regimes for ice, in rural and regional NSW.
"Illicit drug use has significantly changed in NSW since the 1999 summit,” Mr Secord said.
"Ice has overtaken heroin.
"It is actually cheaper than a slab of beer or a pack of cigarettes.
"We should bring together drug experts, family members, health workers, researchers, police, judges and politicians to hold another drug summit.”