Crystal meth.
Crystal meth. Michael Probst

Ice on the rise, community not immune

THE FIGHT to gain control of the drug ice in regional communities is a never ending struggle. And, the issue is getting worse.

Over the past 12 months there have been 197 dangerous drug related charges in Emerald for crimes including possession, supply and drug driving.

Emerald police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Peter McFarlane said it is the use, supply and possession of the drug ice that is of "major concern.”

"The drug ice is a huge issue, and it's getting worse. Our community is certainly not immune,” he said.

"We hardly saw it a few years ago but now we are not surprised when we find it.”

Snr Sgt McFarlane said there are a number of reasons for the increase including the drug's cheap price, the ease at which it can be purchased and how easily it can be concealed.

"Drug driving in particular is on the rise,” Snr Sgt McFarlane said

"The Queensland Police Service have recognised a need to increase resources for drug driving tests in Emerald based on the high detection rate.”

In the past twelve months in the Emerald district alone there have been 50 detections of drug driving while under the influence of ice or cannabis. That's nearly one a week. However, Snr Sgt McFarlane said prevention and education is key to getting the issue under control.

"I don't see us arresting our way out of the ice issue,” he said.

"The answer is prevention, we need to educate our kids and understand why people are turning to the drug.”

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