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Ice inquiry in region


A Special Commission of Inquiry into the drug ‘Ice’ has visited East Maitland this week to hear evidence about crystal methamphetamine use in the Hunter and New England regions.

The public hearings, which started on Tuesday and wraps up today (Thursday) at the East Maitland Court House, sought to examine the prevalence of the drug in these regions, as well as the impacts of, and responses to, its use.

The Commission was established by the state government to inquire into: the nature, prevalence and impacts of the drug and other illicit amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) in NSW; the adequacy of current measures; and options to strengthen the response to the use of these drugs, including law enforcement, education, treatment, and rehabilitation.

The Commissioner, Professor Dan Howard SC, said crystal methamphetamine and other ATS’ were clearly having serious impacts across the Hunter and New England.

“The Commission will hear from the families, communities and professionals affected, and look into opportunities to improve how we respond to the use of these illicit drugs,” Professor Howard said.

NSW Health data shows that, in 2016-17, the rate of methamphetamine-related hospitalisations in the Hunter New England Local Health District was 159 per 100,000 people – higher than the state average.

In comparison, it was 8.6 per 100,000 people in 2009-10.

If you need support, visit or call the National 24/7 Alcohol and Other Drugs Hotline on 1800 250 015.

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