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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

'Ice' issue aired in Benalla

Residents will be given the opportunity to tackle the growing problem of the drug ice at a community forum in Benalla.

MONIQUE FREER March 19, 2014 9:06am

The region’s top cop says some drug dealers are handing out the drug ‘ice’ to drug users cheaply so they get hooked and keep coming back for more.

Victoria Police Eastern Region Division Three Acting Superintendent Dan Trimble said the use of ice was escalating in Benalla and across Victoria.

‘‘It is increasing, the number (of people) that we’re charging with it,’’ Supt Trimble said.

‘‘Ice is an issue for Victoria and its use has been associated with crime.

‘‘Anecdotally there’s information that suggests that they’re giving people almost free ice to use to get them hooked, and then once they’re hooked they’ve got to keep paying, so that’s something that people need to be mindful of.’’

Today, residents will be given the opportunity to tackle the growing problem of the drug ice at a community forum in Benalla.

Hosted by the Department of Justice, the forum will provide factual, expert information on the drug, its effects and where to get support.

Speakers at the forum include State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes, State Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy, and representatives from the Department of Justice, Department of Education, Department of Human Services, Victoria Police and public health group Anex.

Department of Justice regional director John Duck said the forum aimed to bring together key stakeholders to discuss the problem with residents.

‘‘This is an emerging issue for the community right around the state and it didn’t appear to be anything co-ordinated, especially for the Hume region,’’ Mr Duck said.

‘‘The forum will enable an open and honest discussion between the community and experts on the issue of ice use and its effect on the local community.’’

Mr Duck said the forum would provide information on how methamphetamine substances and ice worked, their physical and psychological effects, signs and symptoms of dependency, withdrawal and psychosis, how to engage with those affected by methamphetamines and what treatment and support options were available.

Full story in this week’s Ensign.

The community forum will be held at Benalla Performing Arts and Convention Centre today from noon to 1.30pm. Numbers are limited; RSVP to Alison Maclean on 57236408 or alison.maclean@justice.vic.gov.au

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