Its victims are in court every day

A LONG-time magistrate in the North East says ice is “rife” in the region.

Magistrate John Murphy has repeatedly commented from the bench on the destructive qualities of the drug.

Recently in Wodonga Magistrates Court, he made reference to the prevalence of its use.

He has given warnings to users to refrain from using the drug before it destroys their lives.

“I keep telling them to get off the stuff,” Mr Murphy said.

Youth workers in both NSW and Victoria say juveniles and adults are committing crime to finance their drug habits.

It is common knowledge on the streets that ice costs $100 for “a point” which is 0.1 of a gram.

The same amount of money gets either a gram of amphetamine (speed), four ecstasy tablets or a “quarter” of cannabis which is seven grams.

The purity of ice begins about 70 per cent and goes higher.

“It is a really big smack when you take it,” Wodonga detective Ray Causer said.

He says many people trying it for the first time get immediately hooked.

A long-time Albury drug user said the cost of ice was ridiculous.

It was pushing users towards crime to finance their habit.

The psychiatric nurse attached to Shepparton Magistrates Court is inundated by ice users, according to Mr Murphy.

Police often pick up people who have used it and they are suffering from serious mental health issues.

There are dramatic examples of how seriously the drug can impact.

A woman with no previous criminal convictions went to a nightclub in Shepparton where someone gave her some ice.

Later she was driving near Avenel when she rolled her car.

The front of the vehicle was destroyed and barely recognisable but she managed to survive the crash.

Another woman, 26, appeared in court handcuffed and suffering from ice withdrawal.

She had razor blades secreted on her body, made threats to the magistrate and was remanded in custody.

Later after being bailed, she went to a shop, stole a knife and committed an armed robbery at a service station.

The alleged motive was to obtain money for her drug habit and more ice.

A youth worker from NSW says ice is everywhere and causing massive problems.

Loot from break-ins at houses and other premises is sold mainly to pay for the drug, the youth worker said.

A Victorian youth worker said: “There seems to be a lot of it around.

“A day does not go by when it does not get a mention at court.”

The prevalence of ice has been confirmed from other sources including the NSW Probation and Parole Service.