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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Ice inquiry: impact on Ballarat

Date posted: 21 November 2013

Community leaders have expressed concern over the lack of facilities and services needed to address the harmful effects of methamphetamine (ice) addiction in Ballarat.

In a submission to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the supply and use of ice, Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC) Chief Executive Officer, Karen Heap, said ice was having a disastrous impact on the Indigenous community in Ballarat.

People from all walks of life were becoming dependant on the drug, Ms Heap said, adding there were few facilities that exist to curb the epidemic. 'Ice is particularly horrible because of the effects it has on our people,' Ms Heap told the inquiry. 'I'm very concerned for our people. It has become a party drug for us as Aboriginal people.' According to BADAC, certain streets have become 'one stop shops', and the drug has become prevalent even in Ballarat football clubs, as well as nightclubs.

Ms Heap said there needed to be better centres developed to help treat Indigenous people. 'We need somewhere for these people to go to heal their inner soul, not just focus on the drugs themselves,' she said. 'Waiting so long to get people into rehab or detox is not beneficial to people whatsoever.'

Source: The Courier


Last updated: 20 November 2013
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