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Now to the story...

Concerns raised over indigenous drugs problem

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on May 20th, 2002.

A Northern Territory politician has claimed that substance abuse has reached crisis point in Aboriginal communities.

The Labor Member for Arafura, Marion Scrymgour, says there are estimates that about $50,000 worth of drugs are being smuggled into one Aboriginal community on a fortnightly basis.

She says Aborigines in the townships are pooling their incomes to buy the cannabis.

Ms Scrymgour says this means they are going without essential items to pay for the drugs.

"You can imagine...most of the wage earners are all on CDEP [Community Development Employment Projects]," she said.

"Now CDEP is not a high wage and that's what I was talking about, that small, disposable income that they had which normally would go on food and other things is actually being diverted to...if it's not alcohol, it's going on cannabis."



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