Massive spike in ice users on Darling Downs
METHAMPHETAMINE, or "ice", is creeping into the Darling Downs as an increasingly popular choice of drug
Police say its hold on the region is getting stronger.
Suppliers got a firm foothold in Victoria in 2014, with 75% of users admitting to using the drug in that period - now police are seeing similar increases in use in the South West District.
The number of users jumped from 150 to 282 between 2012 and 2014 in the South West District.
In Chinchilla, the number of methamphetamine supply rings broken up by police jumped from zero to eight in the same period, with another two detected this year.
Ice is a stimulant which can be snorted, injected or smoked, producing an instant sensation of euphoria.
This is followed by a "high", typically manifesting itself in assertive, argumentative or aggressive behaviour; this can affect the user anywhere from four to 16 hours.
Sergeant Ben Wiltshire, from Miles Police, said methamphetamine made people difficult to control and less likely to behave rationally when confronted by police.
"There's a common idea that they have superhuman strength but it's more a disregard for pain.
"They'll have elevated heart rates and can sweat quite profusely.
"In some cases it's very difficult to restrain them when you're working alone or with one other person.
"The amount of force we need to use to restrain someone can often be much higher," he said.
Drug diversions are not available to individuals caught in the possession of methamphetamine.
"Courts recognise while there is harm in the use of cannabis, the dangers of meth and more recently with ice are astronomically higher," Sgt Wiltshire said.