A training program to support health workers managing clients who use ice was delivered in Broadford on Friday, in partnership between Penington Institute and Mitchell Shire Council.
Ice, the crystalline form of methamphetamine, is causing increasing problems in regional Victoria, dramatically affecting users, their families and friends and communities.
‘‘Although ice is most commonly smoked, a growing number of people inject the potent stimulant drug,’’ Penington Institute chief executive John Ryan said.
‘‘This type of use has particular implications for mental and physical health.
‘‘As the police say, we can’t arrest our way out of this problem, meaning the health sector needs to be first responder when it comes to reducing drug use and drug harms.
‘‘People who inject ice are at the more serious end of the drug use spectrum, and frontline workers face significant challenges when providing services to them.’’
Ice-related ambulance attendances in regional Victoria has grown rapidly, from 94 in 2011-12 to 467 in 2014-15.
Funded by the Victorian Government as part of the state’s Ice Action Plan, the aim of the training and the associated resources was to enhance the skills, knowledge and confidence of frontline workers in rural and regional needle and syringe programs and health services.