Ice scourge prompts frontline training push

by admin on July 14th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Frontline staff are facing new demands and pressures every day because of ice use.Almost 40,000 frontline workers will be trained in how to deal with ice-affected people, in an admission the drug epidemic is taking a toll on an unprecedented number of workers.
Nanjing Night Net

The Victorian government has advertised for a service provider to train people working in the health, human services, justice and education sectors to cope with ice users. Everyone from pharmacy employees, court workers, dental health personnel child-care staff, nurses and teachers will be offered the training, which is in addition to coaching provided to emergency workers, such as police and paramedics.

In its notice to potential service providers, the government says the move is necessary to help people identify the effects of ice, and in “managing the chaotic and sometimes violent behaviours that are typically associated with the use of ice”.

The face-to-face training package will cost $2.1 million over four years.

In its tender notice, the government said frontline staff were facing new demands and pressures every day because of ice use.

“An increase in complex presentations amongst consumers has brought with it an escalation in challenging behaviours, including self-harm, aggression, avoidance of services and non-adherence to treatment and recovery programs.”

The government stressed that training should be done in community facilities, and, “the department would prefer training sessions not be held in commercial venues, in particular licensed venues, wherever possible”.

The training is the latest stage of the government’s Ice Action Plan, a $45.5 million package designed to tackle the ice scourge.

According to state government figures, there was an 88 per cent increase in the number of times ambulances were called to deal with patients affected by methamphetamine between 2011-12 and 2012-13 in Melbourne. The number of calls in regional Victoria increased by nearly 200 per cent.

In NSW, Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT, amphetamines have overtaken cannabis as the second-most common “principal drug of concern”, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported in June.

Director of St Vincent Hospital’s Department of Addiction Medicine Yvonne Bonomo said Australia-wide, about 268,000 people used ice, and of those about 160,000 were dependent.

“There’s no doubt that the prevalence is increasing,” she said, although she added that alcohol use and abuse was far more common than ice.

In Victoria, drug offences were up 4.1 per cent in Victoria in the year to June 2016, the latest figures from the Crime Statistics Agency show.

The problem with ice, health professionals say, is it is relatively cheap, easy to produce and highly addictive.

Methamphetamine comes in powdered form – known as speed – and crystalline form – known as ice. But the crystal form is much stronger and more addictive, health professionals say.

Acting senior executive of alcohol and other drugs Tim Beard said the rate of amphetamine use had remained relatively stable between 2010 and 2013, but users were increasingly abandoning speed for ice.

“So we’re seeing more and more people coming in for treatment for amphetamine use, and we’re seeing a significant increase in the amount of harm that’s being caused.”

Dealing with someone affected by ice:

Associate Professor Bonomo  says the key is to remain calm.

“Communicating with someone who’s intoxicated, however they’re intoxicated, has to be non-stimulatory. It has to be calm and it has to be non-threatening and not getting into someone’s space. But apart from that, you have to wait until they’re not intoxicated anymore. And with ice, that can take a while.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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