The Labor and Independent candidates for the seat of Dubbo have vowed to fight for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in the electorate in a bid to curb growing concerns about drug use.
Labor hopeful Stephen Lawrence and Independent Colin Hamilton both said drugs are damaging families and communities and said more support was needed.
Nationals MP Troy Grant said his government was committed to delivering a range of prevention and treatment programs to reduce harm but said a number of factors need to be looked at before establishing a new treatment service.
There are currently only three drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities in NSW west of the Blue Mountains, at Brewarrina, Canowindra and Cowra.
The Orana Law Society and non-government organisation Nguumambiny Indigenous Corporation have both called for a centre to be placed at Dubbo.
Mr Hamilton and Mr Lawrence said they would both work to get a facility in the city because of the benefit it would provide for the entire region.
"Dubbo services such a wide area which is currently affected by users of drugs, so I think it's vital that these type of services are located where they are needed. More people would utilise them if they don't have to travel great distances," Mr Hamilton said.
Mr Lawrence launched his campaign in October, calling for a facility and said he would like to see it on the outskirts of Dubbo where people would be in a safe place to deal with their issues, rather than running around committing crimes.
"As a lawyer in the region over the last five years I have been shocked to see the physical decline in clients struggling with ice addiction as well as being horrified by some of the crimes the drug is causing," Mr Lawrence said.
"Only this week in Narromine local residents were telling me about ice in their community and it is an issue that has been raised with me constantly since I entered the election."
Ice, also known as crystal methamphetamine, has become a concern because it is a pure, powerful drug that is becoming readily available and is cheaper than other forms of the drug.
Mr Grant said illicit drug use in NSW was well below the levels of the 1990s but acknowledged it was still a problem. He said data on the use of methamphetamine in regions like Dubbo was limited but was being actively monitored by NSW Health.
The Deputy Premier said there were already a number of programs and services available to people with problematic substance abuse.
"These treatment programs are offered by a range of government, non-government and primary care providers in a range of settings in rural, regional and metropolitan areas," he said.
Mr Grant said people looking for support or information should contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS), including advice about available treatment services.
The ADIS number is 1800 422 599.
Greens candidate Matt Parmeter was also contacted for comment but did not respond before deadline.