First responders and health workers are among those anticipated to give evidence at Dubbo this week about the ravages the highly-addictive drug ice is wreaking on western NSW.
In Dubbo Regional Council the rate of use or possession of the substance per 100,000 people was more than double that of NSW in 2018, statistics showed.
Data and individual cases have both revealed some of the impact of the drug in regional communities in the past decade and now the problem is being tackled head-on.
The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug 'Ice' will hold three days of public hearings in Dubbo from Tuesday as it investigates crystal methamphetamine use in western and central-western NSW.
Established by the state government, it expects to hear evidence at Dubbo from individuals and organisations with first-hand experience of the challenges posed by use of amphetamine-type stimulants.
They include police and paramedics, health and hospital workers and drug and alcohol service providers.
The impacts of ice use on families and young people will be one focus of the hearing, with witnesses from the Department of Education and Family and Community Services expected to give evidence.
Dubbo is one of five regional locations on the itinerary.
The Commissioner, Professor Dan Howard SC, said the Dubbo hearing would examine the impacts of amphetamine use in Western NSW and the Central West, as well as health, policing and treatment responses.
"The use of crystal methamphetamine is affecting cities and towns throughout the region," Professor Howard said.
"An important part of the commission's work is understanding the nature and extent of the harm done to individuals, families and communities.
"We also need to hear from people with direct experience of these matters about the strategies and services that might help to reduce these harms."
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) figures show that in 2018, about 100 people out of every 100,000 were identified as ice users or in possession of the drug at Dubbo.
That was more than double the overall state rate of 92 per 100,000.
It was also worse than the rate in Bathurst Regional and Orange councils, which stood at 83 and 126 per 100,000 people respectively.