Inquiry into ice epidemic comes to a close

A SPECIAL report into the impact of crystal methamphetamine across the state will be will be handed to the Governor of NSW this week.

The four-volume report is the culmination of a 14-month Special Commission of Inquiry into crystal methamphetamine and other amphetamine-type stimulants.

  • The inquiry had received more than 250 submissions, including from alcohol and other drug experts, research organisations, peak bodies, government departments, local councils and individuals

Last May, the Special Commission visited Lismore for three days to hear from key witnesses and other authorities, including police and hospital staff, about how the drug ice can have lasting and dangerous effects on those who use it.

The inquiry heard from the Tweed Hospital Director of Emergency and Medical Staff Council Co-Chair, Dr Rob Davies, in May where he said the number of people presenting to the emergency department was constantly changing.

Dr Davies said the Tweed emergency department experienced a spike in presentations of people under the influence of methamphetamines during 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Richmond Police District Superintendent Toby Lindsay also told the inquiry at the time about the effects his officers had suffered as a result of dealing with the aggressive nature of people under the influence of crystal methamphetamine, which is commonly known as ice.

"Attending such violent incidents over the course of the career has proved to provide trauma to our police," Supt Lindsay said at the time.

The Commissioner, Professor Dan Howard, will deliver the report to Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley at Government House on Tuesday.

Professor Howard thanked the many individuals who gave evidence, and the government agencies, non-government organisations, professional bodies and others that provided statements, submissions and information to the Inquiry.

"I extend my sincere thanks to all those whose contributions informed the work of the Inquiry, including the many people who generously shared their lived experiences of ATS use in the hope it would help others," he said.

"I also acknowledge the great assistance that the Inquiry received during our regional hearings in Lismore, Dubbo, Nowra, Broken Hill, East Maitland and Moree, and the courtesy and co-operation shown during the Inquiry's many site visits and other engagements.

"I am confident that the Inquiry's recommendations provide an effective way forward for drug policy in NSW."