FRONT-LINE workers will be better trained to deal with ice users.
Prison officers, community corrections staff, sheriffs and dispute settlement mediators will be given the skills to tackle the methamphetamine (ice) use in the community.
The training is one of several ideas to come out of an ice forum at Kangaroo Flat last month.
Anex, which offers a national voice on the effects of drug use, will offer the training.
Chief executive John Ryan said training was needed because the drug market changed dramatically in recent years.
“The systems in place currently work well,'' he said.
"Front-line workers just need more skills because ice users present differently to a person addicted to heroin or alcohol.
“Ice doesn’t just affect your stereotypical drug addict; it affects white-collar workers, farmers, everyone. The drug is everywhere.”
Anex will work with state departments in December to draw up a strategic plan to address the issue.
Department of Justice regional director Jodi Henderson said the plan would include training, identify alternative ways to treat users, look at preventative measures and policy.
“If a person ends up in the justice system for drug trafficking as a result of their addiction that tends to compound the issue because it becomes harder for them to contribute to their community,” she said.
“We would like to figure out different ways to intervene before it reaches that point.”
Ms Henderson said many places were not equipped to deal with issues relating to ice use.
“We would like to find out where the vulnerable areas are in the community and where users are buying their drugs from,'' she said. “Are people dealing meth at bars? Is it being dealt in offices? This is a wicked problem that needs to get fixed.''
A second forum will be on November 14 and focus on positive community messages around education and prevention of drug use.