Government 'should be ashamed' of drug detox snub

A TOOWOOMBA-based campaigner against the effects of methylamphetamines in the community has slammed the State Government for snubbing the region's need for detoxification services.

Australian Anti-Ice Campaign's Nathanial Leigh is one of several advocates pushing for a specialised centre in Toowoomba to help drug-addicted people get clean before entering rehabilitation.

However, there was no funding commitment from the State Government in its new action plan to combat the spread of ice for detox facilities.

Nathanial Leigh.
Nathanial Leigh. Paige Ashby

Mr Leigh called the oversight "a big disappointment" and encouraged the government to re-examine the case for better services.

"It's a very big disappointment - they're not putting their hand up to help people," he said.

"The government should be ashamed of itself."

While addicts are able to rehabilitate in Toowoomba, thanks to the founding of Sunrise Way, a patient has to be completely clean before entering the facility.

Mr Leigh said that posed a problem for those who couldn't get to the nearest program in Brisbane, meaning the only way to do it is in their own home.

"Doing it at home, where was that person when they first took that ice? Was it in their own home," he said.

"If they're doing home detoxing, they can always slip up.

"It's great they've put more money towards Sunrise Way, but they've moved too far forward (without funding detox)."

Dr Steven Miles.
Dr Steven Miles. Mike Richards GLA010216HARB

The Labor Government committed $600,000 to Sunrise Way last year to keep the program running.

Health Minister Steven Miles said the $105 million ice action plan offered support for Toowoomba residents in the form of counselling and rehabilitation.

"We're investing $105.5 million over five years under the whole-of-government action on ice plan to support communities, families and individuals where ice use is a problem," he said.

"This includes counselling services, outpatient withdrawal treatment and drug and opioid treatment programs in Toowoomba, Warwick, Chinchilla, Kingaroy and Cherbourg.

"As well as funding to four NGOs for services across Toowoomba, Warwick, Chinchilla, Kingaroy, Cherbourg, Stanthorpe and Dalby for counselling services.

"We also provide funding to an NGO for residential rehabilitation services in Toowoomba."


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