Australia launches taskforce to combat ice drug epidemic

Canberra: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday launched a taskforce to combat the nationwide crystal methamphetamine, or "ice" drug epidemic.

Abbott said the coordinated effort would ensure every state and territory took the "menace" of ice seriously, Xinhua news agency reported.

Crystal Meth
Representational picture

According to the Australian Crime Commission, ice usage has almost doubled over the past years.

"As a citizen and as a parent I am appalled at what is happening on our streets and in our homes," Abbott said, adding, "ice is far more addictive than any other illicit drug. It does far more damage."

Former Victoria Police commissioner Key Lay will coordinate local, state and federal efforts to curb the use, sale, manufacture and interception of the drug.

The taskforce will develop a national ice action strategy which will examine all existing efforts to address ice and identify ways to take a systematic, comprehensive and coordinated approach to education, health and law enforcement.

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