Thursday September 25, 7.30pm on SBS 2
This Thursday SBS 2 news and current affairs show The Feed presents a special half hour report on ice addiction exploring its prevalence in regional and rural Victoria and the effect it’s having on the towns of Horsham and Shepparton.
The Feed’s Walkley Award winning producer Joel Tozer and supervising producer Lanneke Hargreaves meet with addicts, health professionals, local police, community leaders, families affected by addiction and locals moving away from these areas to investigate the impact this epidemic is having on these towns.
“Exceptionally young people are finding themselves addicted to ice. I’ve had people as young as 11 and 13 appearing before the court addicted to ice,” Victorian Magistrate Stella Stuthridge, told The Feed.
Police say ice use in small towns across Victoria has grown to an unprecedented level. Many towns such as Horsham are holding town meetings to try to tackle the issue. Inspector Trevor Ashton, a Hosham police officer attending a public forum last month told The Feed that the town has one of the highest rates of positive drug driving in Victoria with currently one in ten drivers testing positive.
“I’ve seen families torn apart. Well-structured family units, loving families. I’ve witnessed road trauma. I’ve witnessed psychotic episodes, I don’t know how much more I can take,” said Inspector Trevor Ashton, of the Horsham Police Force.
The town of Shepparton just four hours from Horsham is also battling a crippling drug problem. The Feed spoke to a local resident who said;
“In Shepparton ice use has skyrocketed…you can see it on people when you go out to say the nightclubs, or on the streets. Even during the day…”
In Horsham there are currently no detox facilities for ice. A recent parliamentary inquiry into methamphetamine use is calling for more rehabilitation beds in regional areas.
Victorian Magistrate Stella Stuthridge vented her frustration on the lack of services.
“It is frustrating when you have people coming to court and you think you have a real opportunity to force them to do some sort of rehabilitation and the facilities and the services are just not there,” said Stuthridge.