Ice action strategy gets federal injection

By Tom Ravlic

March 24, 2022

Greg Hunt
Greg Hunt. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

The federal government’s National Ice Action Strategy (NIAS) has been given $315 million to continue attempts to reduce the social and health impacts of drugs, such as ice, in the community.

The $315 million, which will be spread over a four-year period, is in addition to another $27.9 million already in place to provide financial backing for critical drug and alcohol treatment projects.

This recent funding bumps the total government spending on alcohol and drug treatment services more broadly to about $830 million over four years.

“For too many Australians, illegal drugs are still an insidious scourge on our community, robbing families of their loved ones,” health minister Greg Hunt said.

The funding is directed to treatment services as well as four other key initiatives aimed at reducing drug use.

One of the programs provides local drug action teams with funding to provide services directly to people impacted by drug alcohol addiction.

A web portal called Cracks in the Ice and Positive Choices is designed to provide resources for teachers, parents and students about drug use. The government says the portal has received more than 2.6 million views between 2016 and 2020.

Funding is also directed towards the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screen Test (ASSIST), a questionnaire used to screen people for the use of risky or illicit substances.

Another initiative funded by the government is the National Centre for Clinical Research on Emerging Drugs of Concern. The centre is responsible for treatment options for people who are addicted to illicit and legal drugs.


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