Anti-drugs campaigner Michael White has responded to this week’s breaking news that Australians proportionally use more “Ice” than any other country in the world.
“Having been involved in making work sites drug-safe for the past 16 years this news did not come as a complete surprise to me, as I have seen all types of drug use in the business world, with the worst example being a company with over 70 per cent of its employees involved in alcohol and other drugs.”
“I welcome the launch of the police Local Drug Action Teams”, said Mr White who is the founder of Drug-Safe Communities, “And, I look forward to working with them to tackle our nation’s drug epidemic.”
Mr White was replying to the announcement of 40 LDAT’s being formed as part of a united police offensive with community organisations to confront the epidemic of methamphetamine (Ice) use.
“We are aware of the scale of the problem. The 70 per cent increase in Ice usage since 2014, the 12 tonnes of Ice seized since 2013 and the two tonnes discovered by police already this year. This is why Drug-Safe Communities is dedicated to removing drugs from communities one life at a time – through early intervention classes, drug education workshops, assisting employers with writing their drug policies and pre-employment drug testing. Our teams visit all types of businesses across all business sectors from small-to-medium enterprises up to nationals companies.”
“We work on the coal face where people are exposed to drugs or using them and we are gradually reducing the number of Ice users in society. We have a mammoth job ahead of us but with 16 years experience we do know that our programs work and we have seen so many lives turned around.”
“Early intervention, education and identifying users are definitely working and I agree wholeheartedly with the Health Minister Greg Hunt when he said this week that we cannot arrest our way out of the Ice problem, we must work to reduce the demand for it”, added Mr White.
Drug-Safe Communities is expanding its national team and is calling on interested parties to contact head office on 1300 378 472 to help turn the problem around.
The LDAT announcement followed the alarming report from the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report last week – which analysed chemical compounds in wastewater from 51 treatment sites – that Australia is second only to Slovakia in the use of stimulants, which include Ice.
Twenty years ago Michael White went to work on a day like any other and waited for his business partner. He soon discovered he would never see his friend and colleague again. His partner was found dead in an alley way at Kings Cross with a needle stuck in his arm. He had died of a heroin overdose. Michael was dumbfounded. He had no idea that his partner had a drug addiction. The shock of this tragic discovery worsened when he found out that over $300,000 had been stolen from the business to pay for it. “I was left with no business, no friend and almost no finances.” Michael embarked on an extensive education process to learn everything he could about drugs and drug addiction and then launched Drug-Safe Australia with a mobile drug testing clinic. He offered early intervention workshops, training, policy writing for employers and pre-employment testing and grew to a fleet of 15 vehicles and 60 staff. Now, as a national franchise, Drug-Safe Communities has the capacity to reach many thousands of people.
“We have so many success stories. We are changing communities one life at a time.”