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MP warns problem has many causes

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May 11, 2018

MEMBER for Murray Plains Peter Walsh believes more needs to be done to address the drug issue in Echuca-Moama.

MEMBER for Murray Plains Peter Walsh believes more needs to be done to address the drug issue in Echuca-Moama.

‘‘There is effectively nothing (no service) close to Echuca,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s some service delivered out of Rochester but if the service is too far away it makes it more difficult to attend and be involved. You need services spread across regional Victoria otherwise it’s too hard to access it.’’

But Mr Walsh also agreed with ice support service facilitator Rosemary Jones (see main story) that there was more to the problem than rehab facilities.

‘‘Rehab facilities are there for people already addicted and who want to actually seek help,’’ he said.

‘‘Any issues around illicit drugs have to be multi-faceted.’’

It means there is not just one quick fix, Mr Walsh said.

‘‘The first one is awareness of the risks of illegal illicit drugs, that they are extremely addictive and do destroy people’s lives,’’ he said.

‘‘And quite often the challenge is that people don’t realise they have a problem until it’s too late.

‘‘It takes them a number of times before they realise it’s that bad they have to do something about it.’’

Mr Walsh said the perception was drug use has worsened in Echuca-Moama.

Figures released recently by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission showed regional Victorians were using ice at a far higher rate than anywhere else in the nation.

‘‘Government can do a certain amount but there it is also a community and family issue as well,’’ Mr Walsh said.

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