Too many are flirting with dangers of ice

IN February, Magistrate David Faram said the drug commonly known as ice, was "the most dangerous drug going around".

He urged a man who lost his licence for six months to think of his children's future and stop his drug habit.

"It's scary. It's a drug that goes one way - down a very black hole,'' Magistrate Faram warned.

It's that very message that too many are not listening to.

Ice is destroying lives - not just the lives of users, but their loved ones, their friendships and their networks.

But it is also affecting the community - on many levels.

Victorian police officers are pulling over too many drivers who are driving on our roads with ice in their system. Our health workers are confronted on a daily basis by those who are crystal meth-affected. 

The Central Victoria Ice Forum held in October last year heard from many community members concerned about the impact of ice.

Ice use was spoken of as a community issue and the need to educate people about the dangers of taking methamphetamine was highlighted.

But what has happened since? What is the next step?

We can't rely on an already stretched legal system to keep dealing with drug users - and sending people to jail is not always the answer. 

Yes, deal with the dealers harshly. And for repeat offenders, there need to be  consequences for actions.

But importantly, we need to educate those who are 'dabbling' in drugs. They are flirting with danger. We need to look at why. And we need to look at how we change that.

As Magistrate Faram said, ice is a "drug that goes one way - down a very black hole''.

Nicole Ferrie, deputy editor

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