An act of violence while on crystal meth seems to burst boundaries; the perpetrator keeps on hitting and hitting, not knowing why, just going on beyond any purpose or restraint, repeating the action as mindlessly as playing cards or popping Sudafeds out of blister packs.Crystal methamphetamine. Crystal meth. Crystal. Ice. A drug that came out of nowhere and instantly turned things upside down: for users, their families, police, healthcare workers and victims of the random, hyper-violent crimes that are the mark of ice. Nearly 1 in 10 Australians have tried ice.

Scattered is the word coined by some users to describe the trance-like ferocity that can accompany an ice binge, escalating common crime to a terrifying level of violence. According to support workers on the front line, official statistics have yet to recognise that users have trebled over the last two years and hospital admissions for ice-related psychosis more than doubled.

Walkley award-winning journalist Malcolm Knox examines the ice problem in Australia from the points of view of users, dealers, police, lawyers, doctors, pharmacists and families affected by the drug.Each story he tells goes beyond the statistics and headlines to explore the human cost of ice and to consider its future in Australia.

'I don't know in the time I've been a policeman, which is 41 years, of a greater scourge on the community. The physical and mental manifestations of ice are absolutely horrific. It has the potential to destroy generations.' - Former NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney


Malcolm Knox

Malcolm Knox was born in 1966. He grew up in Sydney and studied in Sydney and Scotland, where his one-act play, POLEMARCHUS, was performed in St Andrews and Edinburgh. He has worked for the Sydney Morning Herald as a journalist since 1994, formerly as a cricket writer and now as its literary editor. His first novel Summerland was published to great acclaim in the UK, US, Australia and Europe in 2000. In 2001 Malcolm was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelists. He lives in Sydney with his wife and two children.

Country of Origin



Year of Publication

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.