Courts in New South Wales are repeatedly ordering crystal meth users into treatment programs that cannot take them, as funding cuts and staff shortages leave a generation of addicts stranded without support.

31 Mar 2015

A landmark report by the Australian Crime Commission found that crystal meth (ice) use now poses the highest risk to the Australian community out of all illicit drug use. Furthermore, an increasing number of users are turning to crime, and showing up as repeat offenders in courts, because there is nowhere to access support.

Dr Matthew Frei, president of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine, said the unfolding crisis is worsened by an additional shortage of specialist physicians.

 "There are only 200 of us in Australia and New Zealand. We are thin on the ground and we are finding it hard to attract junior doctors." In addition to this the average workforce age of 56 and consequently many of these physicians would retire in the upcoming years.

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