Ice use rife in Aboriginal communities

Ice use is rife in Indigenous communities.
Ice use is rife in Indigenous communities.

ICE is devastating Aboriginal communities in the south-west and has the potential to become a greater issue than alcohol.

Former Framlingham Aboriginal Trust administrator Geoff Clark said the drug was tearing families apart.

“It has the potential to devastate our community more than alcohol, more than drugs in the `70s,” Mr Clark said.

“I believe it is something that is being manufactured and pushed severely on our communities.”

Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council chief executive officer Scott Wilson said ice had become rampant in many regional communities.

Mr Wilson said in some regional areas ice was now available for as little as $5.

“Indigenous communities certainly don’t know what to do with the large scale problem of ice that is hitting them,” he said.

“This drug sadly changes the way people think. People start to think they are bullet proof and can handle it. Ice is happening at a very alarming level. So many families are being damaged.”

Mr Wilson said there was a misconception that alcohol was the major issue for Indigenous Australians.

He said people of all ages were hooked on the drug.

“We are talking about people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s all seeking help,” Mr Wilson.

He has called for more support services for people addicted to ice.

“The overall approach has to change,” Mr Wilson said.

“We need more family support programs. 

“We need more services.”

Mr Wilson said ice was tearing many communities apart.

“We have to close the gap,” he said.

“Emerging drug issues simply threaten to further increase the gap.”

Framlingham Trust chairman Billy McGinnes said he was concerned about the growing trend.

“I think it’s slowly starting to take over the younger generation,” he said.

He said more support was needed for people living in regional areas.

“It would be good to see something down in our little corner,” he said.

Earlier this week, the state government announced Kirrae Health would receive $10,000 to tackle ice use.

The Koori division of the Warrnambool Magistrates Court has heard a number of cases relating to ice this year

  • A frustrated father questioned the court about why he can’t abduct his ice addict daughter to get her off the insidious drug. He said he wanted to kidnap his 30-year-old daughter and take her to his bush block to dry her out. The father told the court he didn’t have the money to send her to a rehabilitation facility. He told the court there was almost no support to help parents get their children off ice.
  • Defence counsel for man accused of assault-related charges told the court her client was not dealing with people appropriately due to his issues with methamphetamine.
  • The court heard a man was told he would not be a priority case for living in a Melbourne rehabilitation centre after he revealed he had not used ice for some time. He was facing a number of charges related to driving, drugs, weapons, burglary and theft charges.