Community Action on Meth: high meth use in parts of City of Stirling sees establishment of prevention and education program

Representatives from some of the Stirling Local Drug Action Team member organisations with Stirling MHR Michael Keenan (centre) and Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin (fourth from left).
Representatives from some of the Stirling Local Drug Action Team member organisations with Stirling MHR Michael Keenan (centre) and Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin (fourth from left).

HIGH levels of methamphetamine use in some parts of the City of Stirling prompted the establishment of an initiative focused on prevention and education.

The Stirling Local Drug Action Team (SLDAT) comprises 26 local organisations working together to deliver programs that prevent and minimise harm from alcohol and other drug use, particularly meth, in the community.

It is one of more than 70 teams across Australia receiving Federal Government funding as part of a Drug and Alcohol Foundation initiative but is the only team in the Perth metro area.

The City is the lead agency. Other organisations involved include the Department of Child Protection and Family Support, WA Police, Cyrenian House, Community Mental Health, School Drug Education and Road Aware and Mission Australia.

Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin said the team aimed to prevent the uptake of meth use in the City and surrounding areas through preventative community initiatives.

MORE: Community Action on Meth series
Nollamara user chronicles 30 years of drug use
Mental Health Commission director says WA meth epidemic a myth
More than 7000 calls made to Meth Helpline in WA

Initiatives were developed using feedback and ideas from community workshops and focus on education and treatment options for drug use through festivals, extreme sports and phone apps.

“The City of Stirling’s role is to support the development of these initiatives, including sourcing funding, working with partnering agencies and engaging the community, as well as measuring their success,” he said.

Drug use risk factors in the City include a high unemployment rate in Mirrabooka and Balga and high school drop-out rate. About 60 per cent of City residents have completed Year 12 or equivalent, according to 2017 Australian Bureau of Statistics results.

The team was formed in response to concerns from local agencies about the effect of meth use on their clients and Mental Health Commission treatment data that showed in 2015 26 per cent of methamphetamine-related treatment episodes were in the Stirling region.

Further research by the City showed a high level of meth use in Mirrabooka and surrounding suburbs.

“A collaborative and human effort is required to treat drug use and the SLDAT uses a human centred and collaborative approach that sees the community and agencies work together to try to solve the problem,” Cr Irwin said.

MORE: Police charge children after crash in stolen car in Como

MORE: Police seek public help following Maida Vale crash

MORE: Kelmscott murder: family releases statement as police charge man