SRAU wholeheartedly supports the objectives of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’, a sorely needed review of the prevalence, trends and impacts of and responses to crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and other amphetamine type stimulants (ATS). Doing so with the aim of improving  outcomes for NSW individuals and communities is vital work.

Sadly, addictive behaviours stop people from living fully contributing lives, no matter whether the behaviours are related to ATS, alcohol, other drugs, gambling, food, shopping, internet, sex or other issues. They also impact the wellbeing and harmony of families and communities.

Although this inquiry relates to Ice and other ATS, a broader approach to planning for systemic improvements for drug and/or alcohol related issues could accomplish exponential change.

SMART Recovery Australia does not seek to respond to the items of the Inquiry for which others are more qualified to provide comment. Our submission responds to the terms of reference related to “options to strengthen NSW’s response to Ice and illicit ATS, including law enforcement, education, treatment and rehabilitation responses.”

This paper speaks in particular to ‘education, treatment and rehabilitation responses’.

Submission overview. This submission outlines the benefits of a system of care that includes mutual support groups and peer led programs which offer primary prevention and relapse prevention interventions for individuals and high quality and accessible education and support groups for families and friends.

This paper refers to the benefits of this approach both as a stand-alone intervention and/or adjunct to other treatments and approaches. 

Testimonials from people with addictive behaviours including Ice users and families and friends of people with addictive behaviours have been included throughout our submission.

This submission recognises that early help seeking is the key to optimising outcomes and that stigma and discrimination are the biggest barriers to participants and their families seeking help.

This submission proposes the following areas for focus:

  1. Make it easier for people to seek help
  2. Increase investment in prevention and early intervention
  3. Provide education and support for families and friends
  4. Apply a systemic approach to planning that includes mutual aid and peer support

 

You can read SMART Recovery Australia’s full submission here.