Member for Narracan has called on the Andrews Government to support the Ice Melt Down project which is working to help support individuals and families dealing with drug addiction in Gippsland.
Speaking in Parliament, Mr Blackwood said the volunteer driven program which supports addicts of Ice and Methamphetamine had been positively received and was already working to expand the services it offers due to the number of enquiries it receives.
“The Ice Meltdown Project is a community-based group that consists of ordinary people who volunteer to support addicts and their families as they battle the debilitating effects of ice,” Mr Blackwood said.
“Methamphetamine use has shown us the cruel reality of its addiction as it has consumed families and caused nothing but harm.
“The project offers a 10-day detox program that supports the addict and their support persons or family in their own environment.
“The committee is made up of six people and a professional counsellor, and since July 2014 they have held community meetings fortnightly giving people the opportunity to educate themselves on this drug and the destruction it causes.
“Recently due to the demand and the need, the project has started a weekly family and client therapy night. Families and clients gather in separate rooms. This gives both parties the chance to communicate their frustrations and fears and to learn strategies that may assist the client's recovery.
“Many family members and clients are at a loss to deal with debts, convictions and breakdown of family units, all incurred from drug taking.
Mr Blackwood said the program had already assisted a large number of families in its first 12 months and ongoing funding would be used to deliver professional support via a rehabilitation house.
“The group has detoxed 150 clients and at present is dealing with 35 families.
“The group's simple approach is seen as welcoming, and the positive outcomes of reuniting families has been fantastic and embraced and strongly supported by the broader community.
“The most immediate need is to get a rehabilitation house that has been provided to the group up and running. It will be run by professional counsellors as well as supported by volunteers.
The success of the program has been largely due to the support of the local community and the dedication of its volunteers and Mr Blackwood said it is now time the Andrews Government assist the program to ensure its future.
“Currently this community group is being funded by local donations and enormous support from local Rotary and Lions clubs.
“Thanks to the tireless leadership, commitment and energy of Janice Ablett and Megan Waddell, The Ice Meltdown Project is very well advanced in assisting our community to deal with this problem.
“I call on the minister to provide much-needed financial support to this grassroots volunteer community group that is having enormous success in the fight against the impact of ice in our community.”
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