New study reveals alarming increase in Gold Coasters seeking treatment for ice

Alarming new data released by The Salvation Army has revealed a concerning increase in the number of people seeking help for ice use on the Gold Coast.

According to the study, the number of people needing help for amphetamine addiction on the Coast has more than doubled in the last five years, going from 16.7%  to 34.2%.

Operations Manager of The Salvation Army’s Drug and Alcohol Services Gerard Byrne says more and more people are reporting ice as their primary drug of addiction and says the Salvos are struggling to keep up with the great need in the community.


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“More and more people are reporting ice as their primary drug of use,” Mr Byrne said.

“The Salvation Army is struggling to keep up with the great need in our community. People can be waiting from anytime between two to six weeks before they get the assistance they need.”

Mr Byrne says the problem will only get worse without further investment from state and federal governments to increase availability of treatment options.

He says mainstream drug and alcohol services cannot keep pace with demand and waiting lists are increasing daily.

“Ice is now readily available in towns and cities across Australia, which has caused an increase in usage. Its relatively cheap cost in comparison to other illicit substances has also fuelled demand,” Mr Byrne says.

“Governments need to place more resources into existing drug and alcohol services, which are bearing the burden of increased pressure on already stretched resources. This has created a situation that is tearing communities apart.”

If you or someone you know needs help with issues surrounding drugs, alcohol or gambling, The Salvation Army can help. For more information, visit salvos.org.au or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).

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In light of the proposed welfare changes (i.e: drug testing for Newstart recipients, widening the cashless welfare trial scheme, & substance-use disorder diagnoses being removed from DSP eligibility criteria), shouldn’t we be focusing on the strength & courage it takes for these people to actually be proactive & seek out treatment of their own free will now, rather than focusing on the alarm felt at the increased service demand, which we have always known was inevitable? I’ve seen statistics quoted as to the current gap in treatment provision in terms of services needed, prior to the changes aforementioned, & they’re not pretty – experts have estimated they’re currently providing only 50% of what is actually necessary, so perhaps this is just the other 50% beginning to actively service-seek due to the possible issues they may soon be facing?