Page 1427 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 6 May 2015

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(b) children in Canberra as young as 13 are among the growing number of young people abusing ice;

(c) the Ted Noffs Foundation stated “two years ago, the presentation of ice doubled for young people, and last year it doubled again”;

(d) there has been a 52 per cent increase in the number of drug dealing and trafficking charges in the ACT;

(e) the Salvation Army has described treating ice patients as terrifying with some suffering from psychosis inside their drug treatment centre in Fyshwick;

(f) the Salvation Army Recovery Services in Canberra advised that more young people had sought treatment for ice addiction than for alcohol or cannabis abuse;

(g) the response to the increasing impact of ice requires a whole of government approach encompassing education, treatment, rehabilitation, community services, law reform and policing;

(h) any response should be coordinated with the Federal Government and NSW; and

(i) the Federal Government recently announced a taskforce to deal with the drug; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to develop a whole of government response to tackle ice in the ACT, and table the strategy in the Assembly by the last sitting day in August 2015.

Crystal meth, methamphetamine—it has a variety of names on the street, Mr Coe informs me—is an inexpensive, highly addictive central nervous system stimulant that can be injected, snorted, smoked or ingested orally. Ice users feel a short yet intense rush when the drug is initially administered. The effects of ice include increased activity, decreased appetite and a sense of wellbeing that can last for up to 24 hours.

The federal justice minister, Michael Keenan, stated that ice is now the number one problem in terms of illicit substances. He also said the ice problem requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response. Health experts, educators, police, community leaders and, importantly, parents all have a major role to play. Increases in ice use have been attributed to the drug’s highly addictive capacity and its easy accessibility. The Australian Crime Commission’s chief executive, Mr Chris Dawson, said that of all illicit drugs, crystal meth, or ice, is the most dangerous and has the highest risk to our nation. Mr Dawson also said:

We are seeing weekly and daily homicides, drug-impaired driving, addict-based crime in the form of aggression, violence and other crimes such as burglaries in which organised crime groups are profiting.

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