The destructive drug ice is now cheaper than a case of beer, with usage expected to peak over the Australia Day long weekend.
Rock bottom prices – crystal meth sells for as little as $30 a hit – have emergency rooms around Australia bracing for an influx of ice users.
Methamphetamine can leave users with paranoid psychosis, cardiovascular problems and lead to dangerous behaviour as a result of a feeling of invincibility.
The destructive drug ice is now cheaper than a case of beer, with usage expected to peak over the Australia Day long weekend (stock image)
Gordian Fulde, founder of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, said the drug is still a huge problem, The Daily Telegraph reported.
‘With the unbelievable highs you’re quickly you’re hooked and you need more each time to get the same effect – ice has become a lifestyle,’ he said.
‘Right now Australia is ripe for it, it’s party time, it’s the summer, there are the Sydney festivals and Australia Day, that’s when we get more people through the doors of hospital emergency departments.’
The Ted Noffs Foundation said it has seen a five per cent increase in ice users aged 13 to 17 admitted to its rehabilitation centres over the past six months.
Rock bottom prices – crystal meth sells for as little as $30 a hit – have emergency rooms around Australia bracing for an influx of ice users (stock image)
‘Now is our busiest time. Methamphetamine is definitely not lessening, in fact it’s increasing,’ said Mark Ferry, chief operating officer at the foundation.
Mr Ferry said the fact ice is a stimulant, combined with its low price and availability, means usage of the ‘horribly destructive’ drug is high in the post-Christmas period.
Safework Laboratories, the biggest drug tester in the country, said it has seen a six per cent increase in positive tests for crystal meth use since 2016.
Use of the drug is on the rise among truck drivers, pilots, miners, tradies and workers in the transport industry.
The results in the general workforce may be much higher, as office workers, students and those in non-safety sensitive industries are rarely tested.
According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey Program, the ice scourge has lessened since 2015, when it was declared a national emergency.
Overall use of the drug fell from 2.1 per cent to 1.4 per cent from 2015 to 2016, the program reported.