Comments Off on Magistrate Col Elliott calls for better drug education to combat Methamphetamine ice epidemic

A long-serving Hunter Valley magistrate says claims of an ice epidemic are not an exaggeration, alleging the drug is turning normal people into monsters.

The retired and sometimes acting magistrate Col Elliott has seen many disturbing things since being appointed to the bench in Newcastle in 1988.

But it is the use of crystal methamphetamine, known as ice that currently has him on edge.2218024-3x2-940x627

“Go with an ambulance man, just one night,” he said.

“They’re out of control – they become sometimes very paranoid, irritable and violent.”

Mr Elliott said ambulance callouts to ice-affected people are up nearly 200 per cent in some rural and regional areas.

He says while drug courts are playing a worthwhile role in New South Wales, there needs to be a greater focus on education, starting in primary schools.

Mr Elliott said ice is exacerbating domestic violence, filling refuges with battered and broken women.

He said it is fuelling unprecedented violence, leaving a trail of destruction.

“You know, if anybody wants to really see how bad these are go to a woman’s refuge and see the victims of the irate, uncontrollable behavior – the violence that comes as a consequence of the ingestion of the drug ice,” he said.

“There is just no question about that at all.”

Mr Elliott said he has never seen anything like its effects, and said education is the key to addressing the problem.

“And I’m not talking high schools,” he said.

“Programs that we really need to have can be a very effective tool.

“There’s nothing like being confronted with the consequences in a vivid way to have an impact.”

Health Services Union calls for early education

The Health Services Union says Hunter ambulance paramedics are at risk every day, because of the scourge of crystal methamphetamine.

Peter Rumball said the drug leaves people addicted, paranoid and very violent.

“There’s a lack of education and a lack of exposure about what happens once someone becomes addicted to the drug ice,” he said.

“We need massive education about ice, across the board.

“It’s used by all age groups, it’s used in all industries.

“It’s a drug that people take to keep themselves awake in industry, it’s a drug that people take after they’ve had other drugs to pick themselves up.”

Mr Rumball said education is the key to addressing the ICE crisis.

“It’s got to start in the schools,” he said.

“The younger population is the people that these parasites feed on, and get them addicted.

“At the moment, they basically give it away so people become addicted to it, and then that’s when the price rises.

“The young ones are targeted with it because it’s seen at the party drug, it’s easy to get.”








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