A recent editorial by Matt Johnston in the Herald Sun warns that some of the affects of COVID-19, such as job losses, isolation and mental health issues, will result in a “dangerous new undercurrent of methamphetamine abuse that we must tackle early”.
The editorial highlights that methamphetamines, commonly referred to as ICE, has already reared its head in high profile ways, such as the Eastern Freeway tragedy that claimed the lives of four innocent police officers.
The editorial highlights that we may be so desensitised to ICE that most people don’t even take notice when it is mentioned.
“Perhaps we think it’s taken such a hold in society that it’s no longer remarkable,” says Matt Johnston. “After the Eastern Fwy horror there’s a review of drug-driving laws — again — but there should be a greater outcry over this substance that ruins lives.
“Last year, the number of offences that involved methamphetamines was 8419. This was up on the previous two years but not as high as the record 8806 in 2016. Does this explain everything, though? The numbers bounce around due to police operations and decisions made around law enforcement, as well as policies around harm minimisation, such as a drug injecting centre. What’s patently obvious is that while the crimes committed are the showy foliage of this problem, the roots are much deeper.”
The editorial also highlights that in 2015, the Andrews Government released an ice action plan, which has resulted in an increase in treatment beds, increased education and millions of dollars put into intervention.
However, “This drug is clearly still rampant and I’m scared about what’s to come if it’s pushed to the periphery in difficult months to come. We need to talk much more about ice and the disgusting mess it leaves. A combination of job losses, isolation, and anguish will unleash a dangerous new undercurrent that we must tackle early. Just like with ice, we can’t let this get away from us.”
IMAGE CREDIT: Find Rehab Centers https://www.flickr.com/photos/findrehabcenters/41626348764