Addiction support association sees sharp rise in meth problems

Troubling and tragic: Meth can be bought in Perth for less than you would pay for a pizza.
Troubling and tragic: Meth can be bought in Perth for less than you would pay for a pizza.

THE chief executive of the Palmerston Association, Sheila McHale, says there has been a sharp rise in the number of clients seeking support for amphetamine/methamphetamine drug problems.

But she stressed these were not the main drug problems in the southeastern suburbs.

“Many more people have sought help for cannabis and alcohol,” she said. “But we are carefully monitoring the amphetamine/meth use: speed, ice, ecstasy. Given the serious effects of these drugs, this is a very concerning trend.”

Ms McHale said the organisation wanted to develop new programs which responded to changing needs in the community, particularly where the drug ice was involved.

“These changing patterns of drug use require different and flexible responses over and above our State-funded services.

“That’s why Federal funding is so essential.

“The community needs a considered response and solid commitment from all the candidates and their parties in this important by-election.”

The Palmerston Association is a non-government organisation with more than 34 years of service in WA.

It supports people and their families who have struggled with drug and alcohol issues.

In January this year, Palmerston joined with Next Step, a State government organisation, to provide a free service in Thornlie called the South East Metropolitan Community Alcohol and Drug Service.

From the one location and with no need for a referral from anyone, individuals and families who are experiencing problems associated with alcohol and other drugs can access information, counselling, group programs and medical assessment for opiate replacement medication.

The service can also provide information and education to community groups.

Palmerston also supports people facing court with alcohol and drug-related offences at the Armadale court.

Kim MacNaughton, manager of Palmerston’s South East Metro Community Alcohol and Drug Service, encourages anyone who needs help to contact her office on 9267 2400.