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Make dealers pay for ice rehab

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The crisis facing ice addicts and their families can be alleviated if we:

MAKE DEALERS PAY FOR ICE REHAB Senator Nick Xenophon has called on the Federal Government to lead a push for a national approach for all assets of major drug traffickers to be confiscated in order to fund rehab programs.

Such an approach would mirror recent changes to South Australian laws that Senator Xenophon’s state colleague John Darley MLC spearheaded.

Pursuant to the new SA laws, major drug traffickers face losing all their assets - not just assets that can be traced to their drug dealing. Under changes pushed for by John Darley, assets seized must be paid into a rehabilitation fund ‘devoted to programs and facilities for the benefit of victims, offenders and other persons’.

Senator Xenophon said the ABC’s Four Corners program last night, detailing how ‘Across Australia, desperate parents are re-mortgaging homes, taking out loans, or pulling out their superannuation to rescue their children from ice addiction’, “highlights an urgent need for a new approach to rehabilitation and funding of services”.

“Given there are 200,000 ice users nationally, this represents a major challenge for our nation - and to date we have failed both the addicts and their loved ones,” Nick said.

Senator Xenophon also called for Australia to consider adopting Sweden’s mandatory drug rehabilitation laws, which have proved effective in slashing rates of substance abuse.

“The brutal reality is that if you’re in the grip of an ice addiction your ability to make an informed, rational choice as to what is in your best interests is manifestly compromised,” Nick said. “Of course, going in voluntarily is the first choice, but if someone is at risk to their own safety, and to the safety of others, then mandatory rehabilitation must be on the table.”

Senator Xenophon called on the Government to implement the National Ice Taskforce recommendation to develop a national framework to ensure standards in the drug rehabilitation sector.

He also questioned where, when, and how the $298.2million from 1 July, 2016, allocated for ‘measures to reduce the impacts associated with drug and alcohol misuse to individuals, families and communities’, was being spent.

“The fact that I get calls on a regular basis from desperate family members wanting help for their loved ones for substance abuse shows that there are serious gaps in the help available,” Nick said.

For more information: Karina Natt 0433 620 850 or Nick Xenophon 0411 626 677