ABC announces that the four-part documentary series Ice Wars, will premiere on Tuesday February 7 at 8.30pm on ABC and ABC iview.
Australia has a problem with Crystal Methamphetamine. Street name: Ice.
Filmmakers Northern Pictures had unprecedented access to NSW Police Anti-Ice operations in metropolitan as well as rural and remote communities. The series reveals the scope of the challenges facing law enforcement, health workers, users and the community as they try to mitigate, if not eradicate, the effects of Ice use in Australia.
Police co-operation with the program makers means that viewers are left in no doubt as to the size of the problem. The struggle of health workers to help their patients in the face of increasing drug use and often limited resources, points to an array of possible solutions that can only be achieved by informed discussion leading to good policy and political action.
We hear from Australians who have battled Ice personally orwith their family and community and we hear from the police who must plan and execute their anti-Ice strategies daily.
A small Ice lab in an ordinary suburban home is dismantled by the drug squad, with the police left to clean up the mess. In every case, whether it's a suspected dealer working out of a pub, a small lab in a garage or a large scale operation awash with cash and drugs, and protected by guns, evidence gathering must be meticulous if police are to gain a conviction for something more serious than possession.
A woman in the Sunshine Coast hinterland decides to rent out her granny flat to make a bit of extra money. When her health deteriorates, she discovers her new tenant is not a chef, but an Ice cook, whose midnight kitchen concoctions are making her ill.
Every day of the week, first responders like Ashley Baker, who manages the Mental Health Trauma Unit in Blacktown Hospital, must try to assess and stabilize, then balance the care options for Ice users who are in extreme distress, with concerns for community safety.
As former World Surfing Champion Tom Carroll attests, Ice filled a void in his life but stole everything he valued at the same time.
Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie reveals the story of her fight to save her son Dylan from Ice addiction. She points to the despair and low self esteem experienced by many of his generation, fuelled by a lack of opportunity and jobs.
Young men and women in regional communities like Wellington, Lismore and Nowra in NSW, are especially vulnerable to Ice for the same reasons. When Ice comes to town, it's hard to kick it out. Reformed user Barry from Wellington puts it succinctly: 'Every second house is dealing, kids are using, it's shocking." Ice Wars tells an important and urgent Australian story affecting our community that we all need to understand and address.
Ice Wars (4x60 minute factual series) is a Northern Pictures production in association with ABC, Screen Australia and Screen NSW. Executive Producers: Sue Clothier, Alex Hodgkinson and Karina Holden. ABC Head of Factual, Steve Bibb.