Ice epidemic hits Knox

While Australia is in the midst of an Ice epidemic, Knox is not immune as recent statistics explode with ice-related offences.

Aston’s Ice Report shows the number of methamphetamine offences within Knox have jumped 13 fold over the last five years to 146 in 2014-15.

As a percentage of overall drug offences in Knox, ice spikes rapidly from 3 per cent in 2009-10 to over 21 per cent in 2014-15.

This increase suggests that more than one in five drug offences in Knox are now due to ice.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 11.07.04 PM
Main form of meth/amphetamine use during 2007-2013 (per cent)

 

Aston federal Liberal MP Alan Tudge says the increase of ice in both Australia and Knox is due to the cultural norm of the issue.

“Drug taking wasn’t a normalised thing 20 years ago, and now it’s everywhere.”

A $300 million National Ice Plan to tackle ice was informed by the residents from the Aston Ice Report.

Of the national funding, $241 million will go towards rehabilitation services and assisting those addicted to ice.

That money will also be invested with health networks like Sporting & Life Training (SALT) to educate local sporting teams about the nature of ice and drugs.

“The national plan goes to providing some additional resources for the local footy clubs, local netball clubs because that’s often a way in which you engage with the target group,” says Mr Tudge

“It is how you communicate with Generation Y, where you see the greatest propensity for drug taking, so I think that all of those things can and will have an impact.”

The way to treat this epidemic is not as a health problem, but the changing perceptions of society and treating it as a social problem, says Mr Tudge.

Aston federal Liberal MP Alan Tudge about ice being a cultural issue

 

Local resident, Jackson Green, agrees the problem is raised through social expectations and peer pressure.

“Drugs nowadays are becoming more common because people are taking them at younger ages. This stems from peer pressure. The younger generation is getting affected and thus a broader range of people are getting high.”

The large spike in ice raises concern among the community of Knox, with “literally hundreds” contacting Mr Tudge.

Residents also question their safety.

“I have friends who live in safe areas and go out running at night. I’m quite envious of them because I’m terrified to leave my house when it’s dark. Never know what could happen.” Says Mr Green.

The National Plan is set to roll from July 1, 2016.

 

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