WITH illicit drug charges on the rise in Busselton the Drug and Alcohol Office recognise their recovery services are limited in the area.
According to Busselton police illicit drug charges have been on the incline for the last three years.
Drug and Alcohol Office director of client services and development James Hunter said St John of God Hospital was contracted by the Drug and Alcohol Office to operate the South West Community Alcohol and Drug Service.
The main office for SWCADS is located in Bunbury with a service provided two days a week from Busselton.
Mr Hunter said like many services, it faced high demand and had the challenge of servicing a large region and population with a finite level of resources.
Senior sergeant Steve Principe said the drug problem in Busselton was no different to what was happening state wide.
However, the Rebel Outlaw Motorcycle Gang played a big part in the distribution of illicit drugs in the community, he said.
“The Rebel Gang have members based in Busselton and we do our best to police their activities to reduce the negative impact they have in the community,” Snr sgt Principe said.
“If they can be shut down or their influence on illicit drug supply and distribution in the city diminished the community will experience a reduction in illicit drug related offences.
“I personally think there needs to be a tougher approach on those people who sell or supply illicit drugs.”
Snr sgt Principe said a six month mandatory jail sentence for first time offenders would send a strong message to those who might consider a future in becoming a drug dealer.
He believes time in custody would give them a chance to seek help to get off the illicit drug if they were users as well as the opportunity for rehabilitation.
“We can only be as good as the public that support us and we need the community to be our eyes and ears and provide us with any information that will help us,” Snr sgt Principe said.
The Southwest Community Alcohol and Drug Service can be contacted on 9721 9256.