Drug use escalates on Fraser Coast, and it's not only ice

ICE is not the only drug which is contributing to a rise in addiction, according to those on the frontline of the Fraser Coast's health services.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service director of mental health, alcohol and other drugs Robyn Bradley said ice and methylamphetamine were just a part of the problem on the Fraser Coast, and doctors were seeing more and more substance abuse problems.

"We see people who have a number of substance abuse problems," she said.

"I would say in our emergency department it's increasing."

Ms Bradley's comments come just a day after the Chronicle revealed the number of people on the Fraser Coast charged with possessing ice had risen by a mammoth 270% in just five years.

Different types of drugs are becoming a problem on the Fraser Coast
Different types of drugs are becoming a problem on the Fraser Coast QPS

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Statistics on how many people are seeking help at emergency departments for substance abuse problems are not available as patients often seek help for physical injuries or other medical problems at the same time as help for substance abuse.

Ms Bradley said an increase in substance abuse problems also meant doctors, nurses and medical staff also dealt with behavioural problems often linked to drugs, including drug-induced psychosis and violence.

"If we are seeing aggression and irritability, that has an impact on staff because they could be the target of that behaviour," Ms Bradley said.

She said there was a zero tolerance towards any kind of violence at the hospital and other health services.

Ms Bradley said cannabis and alcohol were still the number one substance abuse problems on the Fraser Coast.

Some of the Chronicle's Facebook readers said a health intervention was the way to go for some of those addicted to ice.

"I agree with rehab, it would have to be in a secure area, completely set up and staying there for their time given," Tracey Langshaw wrote.

Shiralee Barrow thought more education was needed.

"We need to protect our children so perhaps have someone in schools involved in class rooms talking to every child on how they can protect themselves from family members," she said.

Others floated a more hardline approach such as drug testing for the dole.



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