In a new exposé conducted by The Courier Mail into ice, one of Australia's most damaging illicit drugs, shocking new evidence that authorities are failing to take control of the epidemic has been uncovered.
In the four month investigation it was revealed that the ongoing surge of ice-related problems has placed police, courts, hospitals and community services under severe stress, with many reporting the drug is the number one problem they are facing.
Most shockingly, the investigation uncovered a small Australian town, St George, as one of the most affected cities in our country.
The small farming town, nestled 550km away from the nearest major city in Queensland, has a population of just 3000 and is home to an ice epidemic of major proportions.
In the shocking investigation it was revealed that children as young as 10 are addicted to the drug, teenagers are believed to be being force-fed the drug and family homes have become drug dens.
In the report, one 14-year-old girl was medicated with ice because she complained she was too tired at school each day as her parents' constant drug-fueled benders were keeping her up at night.
Robyn Fuhrmeister, the chairwoman of community support group Care Balonne, told the Courier Mail, 'One of the aunties has actually given her ice to keep her awake.'
Fuhrmeister reveals the young teen then had a fit the next day in front of her classmates.
According to the investigation, the ice epidemic has created a 'ripple effect' throughout the small town of St George. Young students are emotionally unprepared to attend school and charities have withdrawn their support as food stamps were being exchanged for the drug.
Discarded syringes are also reportedly found scattered throughout the town, often found discarded on playgrounds and in letterboxes.
The investigation also told the story of a woman addicted to the drug who gave birth to a baby, only for it to be taken away immediately after. This was the sixth child the woman has had to hand over her child to authorities.
Arrests have almost quadrupled in the past three years, going from 65 in 2014 to a whipping 235 in the past 12 months, the investigation revealed.
The investigation also revealed that most hide their drugs in their children's nappies, as police are less likely to search there.
Detective Sergeant Isa Tolete said, 'The majority of our jobs here are ice related. I'm not going to sugarcoat it.'
This article originally appeared on New Idea.