A Shorten Labor Government will invest in a new National Drug Strategy – one that is proven to work.
As Ken Lay, Chair of the National Ice Taskforce, has previously said, we can’t arrest our way out of this problem.
Labor agrees. In addition to a strong response from police and the justice system, we need to focus on treatment, prevention and harm minimisation to tackle this issue.
Our approach is based on evidence from the frontline about what actually works.
With a $31.8 million investment, we will deliver smart, cost-effective policies that help vulnerable communities in the grip of illicit drug abuse.
The first thing we want to do is to make it easier for a person to find a treatment service than a drug dealer.
We will work with the States and Territories and with the treatment sector to ensure that people who want to turn their life around don’t have to wait six months or more for a treatment service.
Labor’s evidence-based approach includes:
- Providing long-term funding security to treatment services so that they can get on with the job and plan for the future.
- Restore expert advice bodies axed by the Liberal Government.
- Boost the treatment workforce so that every person seeking help gets the support they need.
- Update our harm minimisation strategies to reflect new risks for people using illicit drugs.
This builds on our announcement that a Shorten Labor Government will invest $18.2 million to implement a package of measures to tackle Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
When it comes to solutions for tackling substance misuse the Abbott-Turnbull Government has missed the mark again and again.
Although funds have been dedicated to tackling ice use, the treatment sector remains in an overall state of chaos. NGO treatment services have only been offered a temporary one-year funding extension for a second year in a row, which makes it difficult for them to hire and retain the skilled staff they need to meet rising demand.
The substance misuse funds that support treatment services and prevention strategies have been cut and urgent warnings from experts in the sector ignored.
Harm reduction is the poor cousin in Australia’s current National Drug Strategy and has been given the silent treatment by this Government.
Right now we can’t say that the Government is doing everything possible to save lives affected by substance misuse.
We believe that families impacted by substance misuse across Australia deserve better.
Under Labor’s plan, taxpayer dollars will be invested in strategies that deliver real outcomes.
When someone puts their hand up and says they want to turn their life around, Labor will ensure that they can get the help they need.
For more details on Labor’s positive plans, please visit: http://www.100positivepolicies.org.au/tackling_ice_and_illicit_drug_use_fact_sheet