More people seeking support for methamphetamine use in Mandurah

More people seeking support for methamphetamine use in Mandurah

FOR the second year in a row, Mandurah has seen a significant increase in the number of people needing support for their methamphetamine use.

In 2014, Palmerston Association chief executive Sheila McHale said they had seen an 85 per cent increase in people reporting methamphetamine and amphetamines as their drug of concern.

This week, Ms McHale said there has been a 30 per cent increase on the previous year�s figures.

�Since 2013, we have experienced a 48 per cent increase in the number of people presenting who are not coping with their amphetamine/methamphetamine use,� she said.

Ms McHale said alcohol still represents the largest single number of clients.

She said the data does not support the current rhetoric that there is a methamphetamine �epidemic� sweeping the community.

�What our data is telling us is that we are coming in contact with an increasing number of people and their families in significant distress due to these drugs,� she said.

�There has only been a modest increase over two years in the number of clients with alcohol as their primary drug of concern, and cannabis figures have remained flat.

�The number of people seeking help for amphetamine/methamphetamine use has shot up significantly.�

Ms McHale had a message for the candidates vying for the seat of Canning.

�With the Canning campaign in full swing and both candidates talking up the problems of methamphetamine, I have a clear message for all of them,� she said.

�We need certainty of Federal funding � a 12 month extension to our funding is unacceptable – scare campaigns may do more harm than good to the hundreds of people and their families struggling with the dreadful impacts of meth.

�Law enforcement strategies have their place but only if balanced with improved access to evidence based treatment and greater investment in family support.�

She said if candidates want to be judged on their commitment to supporting families in crisis due to the drug they should reverse the national cuts to the drug and alcohol sector and increase resources for families.