Dubbo's dark drinking problem | POLL

Eighty per cent of crimes coming before the court at Dubbo are drug-and-alcohol related, highlighting the need for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility.
Eighty per cent of crimes coming before the court at Dubbo are drug-and-alcohol related, highlighting the need for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility.

Eighty per cent of crimes coming before the court at Dubbo are drug-and-alcohol related, highlighting the need for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, according to Orana Law Society president Andrew Boog.

Mr Boog is calling on all candidates for the seat of Dubbo to commit to funding a facility for the city and the wider region. At present there are only three such centres west of the Blue Mountains, at Canowindra, Brewarrina and Cowra.

He said children as young as 13 had been known to use the drug 'ice', which is leading to a breakdown of families right across regional NSW.

Recent media coverage highlighted the growing "ice epidemic" in the Central West but Mr Boog said it had "been obvious for some time" to people working in the justice system.

"There is no doubt there are more people using and becoming addicted to ice. It is also obvious that crimes are committed whilst under its influence and in order to obtain the drug," Mr Boog said.

"Ice is not the only drug problem we have in Dubbo.

"It is well known to the local legal profession that more than 80 per cent of crimes that come before the court have a drug and/or alcohol component.

"Alcohol is almost always a factor involved in domestic assaults."

The courts need to be provided with better options than simply refusing offenders bail and sentencing them to imprisonment, Mr Boog said.

The establishment of a drug court at Dubbo would also help, he said, with drug courts operating in other parts of NSW demonstrating a better rate of rehabilitation and lower rate of reoffending than conventional courts.

"In order to make a drug court work, there has to be a dedicated detoxification and rehabilitation facility. There are not even any detoxification beds in Dubbo," Mr Boog said.

Manager of Nguumambiny Indigenous Corporation, Lynn Field, said there had been a number of campaigns to get rehabilitation facilities opened at Dubbo but none had been successful.

She said if it was going to be done, it needed to be done properly with both detoxification and rehabilitation facilities to ensure users were not only over the addiction but also any other issues that could cause them to relapse.

"You really have to have local, state and federal governments all working together if a clinic is going to happen," Ms Field said.

"Then once it is built the funding needs to be there to allow for proper resourcing.

"I have a lot of clients who have gone onto a methadone program but they are continuing to use drugs because there isn't any screening to pick up that they are still using."

People who are exposed to domestic violence as a child are eight to 10 times more likely to use drugs and people who have been sexually assaulted are five times more likely and Ms Field said they also had to be dealt with by a facility.

"I thoroughly agree that we need these facilities but we also need screening and we need to be able to treat any underlying mental health issues or people will just go back to taking drugs," she said.

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