Physicians call on NSW Government to release NSW Ice Inquiry findings

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and St Vincent Health Australia are calling on the NSW Government to publicly release the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’.

The findings were handed to the Government on 28 January.

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, President of the RACP’s Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine notes that “There is no excuse not to release the report in full and respond urgently. This Special Commission of Inquiry sits within a broader context where the NSW Government has not had a comprehensive drug and alcohol strategy since 2010.”

Dr Lloyd-Jones adds that “with rapid changes in illicit drug supply markets and increasing use of crystal methamphetamine among methamphetamine users, the NSW Government urgently needs to consider and respond to the Special Commission’s report. It should use the Special Commission’s recommendations to inform the development of a strategy that comprehensively addresses drug demand, supply and harm minimisation, in consultation with practicing clinical health professionals. ”

A/Prof Nadine Ezard, Clinical Director of St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney’s Drug and Alcohol Unit and an RACP Fellow said “Groups from right across the NSW, including medical organisations, had significant input into this Inquiry because of how deep the harm from methamphetamine use runs in our community.

“This was a comprehensive investigation that deserves to see the light of day as soon as possible. The NSW Government made much of the need to examine the evidence and now the evidence should be released and responded to urgently.

“The sooner we’re able to see the contents of this review, the sooner we can work with the Government on its response to alleviating the impacts of methamphetamine and other drug use in NSW. Front and centre must be more funding and better planning for treatment services, particularly in rural and regional parts of the state.

“Given how serious this issue is across NSW, we think the Commissioner’s final report is of significant public interest and benefit and should be released urgently.”

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