TAMWORTH mother Tracey Filicietti has seen the horrors of the drug ice first-hand, but she thinks a local rehab or detox centre is only one part of the solution.
Speaking on comments made by state MP Kevin Anderson, who believed a local rehabilitation or detoxification centre could be a genuine possibility in Tamworth, Ms Filicietti said a solution to the ice issue would have to be “multi-faceted”.
The local woman saw her son go through drug and alcohol addiction and has been an invaluable member of Mr Anderson’s local ice action taskforce, as a result of her experiences.
“Yes, rehab or detox is needed,” she said.
“It’s not going to have just Tamworth people – it will get filled, and then there will be a waiting list.”
She said there was a gap in services in Tamworth, with the nearest facilities either located in Armidale or Newcastle, and that a facility “would’ve helped, but they’ve got to be willing to go”.
“Yes, we need rehab and detox, but we need education to get people to say no,” she told The Leader.
“Families need to be able to talk about it and drop the stigma.”
Progress has been slow with the ice action group in Tamworth, with an early focus on local service mapping, but Ms Filicietti said there were some promising things in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, Mr Anderson is keen to push the issue of getting more services in the bush and said he believed a drug rehab or detox facility could be established in the area if it was supported by the city’s health services and non-government organisations.
The local member is the head of a local working group, which includes Ms Filicietti, community leaders, police and health representatives, who are working to find a solution to the widely publicised ice scourge in the local community.
Mr Anderson says he is so serious about the issue, he will be taking a tour of the Lydon Withdrawal Unit in Orange in the near future to examine the impact the facility has on eliminating the use of ice and the risk to others in the regional centre.
“My group has identified it as essentially something we might need to work towards – if it is a rehab or detox facility, or something of that nature,” Mr Anderson said.
“We need to get pretty specific about what we are requesting here.
“The Lyndon foundation at Orange is something I want to have a look at.
“I had a meeting with (Community Services Minister) Pru Goward on Thursday and the state has announced significant funding for drug and alcohol services.
“She has encouraged me to tap into this funding and this is what we have to look at.
“The trouble is, would it be a voluntary facility or a prescribed facility?
“Also, if you build a 10- or 12-bed rehabilitation facility, as soon as you build it, you have already outgrown it.
“If there is money there for it, we will do everything we can to get our hands on it.
“I think it is absolutely fantastic that the government has put forward funding for this (drug-related services), but what we have to do is look at every option and get on top of this problem – it will need to be a coordinated approach.”