The Central Coast is the third largest urban area in New South Wales and only an hour and a half away from Sydney. The population varies from retirees to working-age couples who longed to live near the beach but couldn't afford Sydney prices. But unfortunately, there are never enough jobs to go around and hundreds battle the long commute every day to Sydney for work.
There was an Ice Summit on the Central Coast this week and Dobell Federal Liberal MP Karen McNamara opened the meeting with a horror story. An ice addict in an Emergency Department gouged out his own eyeballs and ate them. She used this story to demonstrate that ice is not a recreational drug and somehow we must get this message across to our young. She said the incident occurred at John Hunter Hospital at Newcastle.
Last week in Sydney, the Organised Crime Squad seized another 170 kg of ice worth $110 million, but it's nothing new. The cops are on the news every week, proudly displaying another find but it happens so often, it's hardly newsworthy anymore. And it's not only local cooks they have to find, it's because Australia pays more for ice than any other country in the world, so it's pouring in from overseas hidden in almost anything you can think of.
Head of Emergency Department at Gosford and Wyong Hospitals, Dr Kate Porges said that "killer doses" were needed to calm the addict down. "The doses are six times what we'd give the average person, if I gave you this sort of dosage, you'd be dead" she said.
Doctors and nurses were regularly assaulted but rarely reported because they were too busy to deal with the paperwork.
Paramedics are also risking their lives. The drug-induced psychosis gives ice users super-human strength. Toukley ambulance manager Dave Morris said it took 12 men, including large police officers, to subdue one addict who weighed around 60 kg.
Meanwhile, as we hold more seminars and summits and keep talking about crystal meth, the cops keep looking for it, the crooks keep cooking it, and the kids keep buying it.
And so it goes.