MT LAWLEY Liberal MLA Michael Sutherland will host a meth forum this week following concerns raised by constituents about family members or others in the community using the drug.
Some outer-lying suburbs have been plagued by meth labs (which occasionally blow up) but Mr Sutherland says “it’s not an overt problem” in his electorate. Instead the forum’s intended to educate families on how to spot the early signs and deal with meth use.
“Last week I had a constituent come who’s got a problem with her son; the bloke’s totally lost the plot,” Mr Sutherland says, adding it got bad enough the family “had to get restraining orders”.
“I heard another case from one of my constituents who went around to fix a door, and the son was a meth addict and started beating up the parents in front of him.”
He says in the early days of use people think they can handle the drug.
That’s when families need to be able to spot the “telltale signs” and intervene.
Mental health minister Andrea Mitchell will be at the forum and a release from her says while fewer people are using the drug than a decade ago, its potency has increased meaning a “greater level of harm to the community”.
In response to “the meth scourge” the Barnett government is bringing online 52 dedicated residential rehab beds and eight low-medical detox beds across the state. Cyrenian House and Palmerston in Perth will get 28 beds.
It’s part of a $15 million strategy aimed at tackling meth as a health-care issue rather than a straight policing problem.
“The Liberal National government is ensuring that the entire spectrum of treatment and prevention options is supported and available across the state,” Ms Mitchell said.
The meth strategy forum is on November 23 at the Mt Lawley Tennis Club from 6pm, rsvp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 9473 0800.
by DAVID BELL