Ice epidemic is ‘hidden’ in CH

THE Central Highlands lacks the treatment or counselling services to deal the explosion in use of the drug ice, a leading GP has claimed.

Emerald's Dr Ewen McPhee said the insidious drug remained a "hidden epidemic" due to the lack of support for people with a drug addiction in the region.

"The alcohol, tobacco and other drug services out here are very poor," Dr McPhee said.

"We just don't have the infrastructure or support services and no one is willing to support it or fund it."

Dr McPhee lamented the only way to gauge the extent of the ice epidemic was through police arrests, presentations to hospital emergency departments, suicides and "all the other terrible things that happen to people".

"So yes, there are significant drug problems out here, but we just don't have the ability to be able to respond to it," he said.

"The problem is the lack of acknowledgement that people who live in the country deserve care too.

"There are also significant challenges with mental health."

>>READ: Drug arrests are sky high in Central Queensland, up 75% on last year


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