With the release this week of the AMA’s updated Position Statement on Methamphetamine (2015) AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, said that doctors are seeing a significant increase in the severity of the health conditions associated with methamphetamine use.
Professor Owler said the AMA welcomes Government leadership through the establishment of the National Ice Taskforce and the impending National Ice Action Strategy. While swift action and an increased focus on the health implications is important, it is critical that the National Ice Strategy is supported by a strong commitment to implementation from all levels of government.
“It is important that doctors and other healthcare workers are well supported to engage with methamphetamine users,” Professor Owler said.
GPs should be encouraged and supported to screen for illicit drug use and there must be appropriate treatment and rehabilitation services for doctors to refer their patients on to. Treatment services must reflect the full range of methamphetamine users, including intensive inpatient support involving a number of medical specialists through to less intensive care and support provided in the community setting.