A state government inquiry into the consequences of the drug ice is under way and will sit in Warrnambool on Monday.
Led by upper house MP Simon Ramsay, the Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee hearings have visited numerous regional towns in the state’s west where the drug is prevalent and wreaking havoc on families.
The committee will already have learned from its hearings that this particular drug has the potential to destroy whole communities. It is cheap, readily available, instantly addictive and offers the user a sense of euphoria so intense that nothing else matters.
In times of economic hardship, it is drugs such as these that have the power to control large numbers of vulnerable people, young and old.
This week we learnt that drug crime has surged across our region as a result of the prevalence of the drug in regional areas.
Police figures show drug offences including manufacturing, possession and trafficking more than doubled in some parts of western Victoria last year.
Social workers labouring under the burden of ice-related social issues say not only is ice the reason for more crime, it is also causing more mental illness and family breakdown.
Last year, Ballarat experienced a massive 73 per cent increase in drug-related crime. Warrnambool is not that bad, but it’s close.
The government inquiry is an encouraging step in the right direction, but once it has heard all there is to hear, what then? Is there a solution to this very real and dangerous social crisis?
It will be interesting to find out because surely there can only be one conclusion that the war on ice and on illegal drugs generally was lost a very long time ago.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.