Health services are raising concern about the increase of crystal meth use among Indigenous people in Central Australia

The drug has had a presence in outback towns in the Northern Territory for a while, but it hasn’t had a significant foothold in Indigenous communities.

Eloise Page is the Chief Executive of Drug and Alcohol Services Australia which operates a local addiction rehab service.

She told the ABC they are seeing a rise in meth use among Indigenous men and children as young as 12.

“We have now seen an increase in Aboriginal men using methamphetamines, we’ve seen a shift from non-Indigenous people, to Indigenous people.

What we’re seeing now in our town is sad and distressing and worrying, but if they were to all be accessing methamphetamines, goodness knows what we’ll see, it’s quite scary.”

Alyawarre man Damien Kunoth works with young men and is concerned about the rise.

“Little Alice is a ticking timebomb, with anybody, and you can’t even point out who they are, it could be a close friend, could be a close family member, you just don’t know.”

While alcohol has been a major focus of social issues in the town, service providers say governments haven’t addressed the underlying issues of addiction.