Drug rehabilitation advocates say ice addicts are not provided with the support they need to be able to detox and successfully withdraw from the debilitating drug.
Former ice-addict Stuart Fenton remains frustrated by the “inadequate” support system that he says leaves addicts with two options – to continue to be addicts or to seek treatment in NSW.
“If you’re a person in Victoria that needs rehab, if you have money you can get into a private rehab or a private health cover hospital within a week,” Mr Fenton said.
“If you’re a person in the public (system) you are told you have to wait three to five months for a bed. Sometimes you are told that a particular rehab isn’t putting people on a waiting list.”
Mr Fenton said this system left drug users disillusioned.
“People really wanting to get clean become disillusioned. They might go back to drug taking, some people die, some people give up hope.”
The Victorian Ombudsman has called into question the effectiveness of drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs for ex-prisoners in Victoria.
People really wanting to get clean become disillusioned. They might go back to drug taking, some people die, some people give up hope.Stuart Fenton
The Ombudsman has issued an inquiry into the experiences of those in contact with the justice system who have engaged, or sought to engage, with alcohol or drug rehabilitation, with the findings to potentially lead to a formal investigation.
Mr Fenton said key issues are the high demand placed on just the few long-term, government funded rehab facilities and the absence of long-term programs to prevent relapses.
Mr Fenton said a lack of regulation surrounding private rehabilitation meant families were forking out money for programs without know if they would be successful.
“Obviously there are so may private rehabs popping up because (providers) can see they can make money from this,” Mr Fenton said.
VAADA chief executive Sam Biondo told Fairfax Media he is calling for a five-year plan to have one rehab bed for every new prison bed as part of its 2017 budget submission to the Victorian government.
"We're hearing many of our [drug and alcohol] treatment providers talk about people who have sought treatment interstate. It is the worst kept secret," he said.