POLICE have welcomed a new parliament inquiry into the growing use of methamphetamine.
Figures published in The Age show ambulance and help line calls for ice doubled from 2010/11 and 2011/12, and more people sought addiction treatment.
Senior Sergeant Dave Collins said local meth use was having the biggest impact on families.
“We’ve got first time offenders who get on ice and they lose everything,” he said.
“It’s definitely impacting on crime and the biggest impact is on families.
“The poor old families are the ones who suffer, as well as the victims of crime of course.”
Senior Sergeant Collins said there was no doubt more people were abusing the drug.
“The use of ice has gone ahead leaps and bounds,” he said.
“And we’re starting to acknowledge there’s an impact on our crime because of it.
“We’re definitely seeing more of it.”
More people are providing police with intelligence around the drug, Senior Sergeant Collins said.
“One of the ways we can tackle this is through the community,” he said.
“Families that are being impacted by this are more prepared to come forward and help.
“Part of that is to refer the offender and their families to counsellors to get them help to lessen the impacts.”
Sergeant Mick Peckham recently described methamphetamine as “evil”.
“Certainly ice is a big focus for police, not just in central Victoria but in Victoria as a whole,” he said
“We see on a daily basis the effects that ice has on people and their behaviour.
“I’ve also seen some perfectly, properly functioning humans in society that start using ice and lose their jobs, their marriages, their kids and start committing crimes.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s an evil drug.”
Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan called for state government action on what she termed an “ice epidemic” earlier this month.
The government recently announced $1.1 million for the prevention, education and treatment of methamphetamine use.
Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge at the time said ice was the "main drug of concern".