Primary Health Network to coordinate localised approaches to Ice treatment

Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECCPHN) has welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s National Ice Taskforce recommendations that focus on reducing the demand for ice and reducing the harm it causes.

CEO of the Network, Richard Nankervis said “As an organisation that is committed to improving the health outcomes of every member of our community I commend the commitment of new funding to improve access to treatment for individuals experiencing ice addiction, especially those people living in rural and remote communities. The specific allocation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders will also be well received by those working with Indigenous communities”

“We know that that use of ice is increasing. The latest evidence shows that methamphetamine is now the second most commonly used illegal drug in Australia after cannabis and is now more common than ecstasy, cocaine and heroin.”

“The number of users seeking treatment where methamphetamines were the principal drug of concern increased from 10,027 episodes in 2009-10 to 28,886 episodes in 2013-14.”

“Treatment episodes for meth/amphetamines are now the third most common, behind treatments for alcohol and cannabis.”

“This new funding announcement, which follows last week’s allocation of mental health funding to PHNs is further recognition of the important role primary care plays in delivering flexible services and the ability to respond effectively to community needs and local circumstances”

“While it is too early to provide details on the exact type of services to be funded the government has indicated that efforts will be focused on expanding early intervention and support through online counselling and information”

“Current research also suggests that harm reduction and outpatient psychological treatments are the most effective drug treatment programs and may be more cost-effective and broader-reaching than inpatient, medication-based detoxifications.”

“Once further details are released by the government we look forward to working with local communities and commissioning treatment services for better access to and coordination of services”


For further information contact Scott White, HNECC Communication Manager, 0437 478 138