A special inquiry examining the impacts of the drug ice will look at ways to combat the "destructive" threat it poses to NSW communities.
The NSW government on Monday announced a special commission of inquiry into crystal methamphetamine, to report on the prevalence and impact of the drug and examine ways to stop it from being manufactured.
"Ice is a destructive drug that is ruining too many lives across NSW, especially in our regional centres," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.
"We are conscious and aware of how much concern there is out there in the community about the incidences of ice, the incidence of this drug permeating all levels of our society in NSW and we want to put a stop to it."
Ms Berejiklian said the issue requires both a criminal and health response to prevent the "scourge" from continuing and to change attitudes surrounding illicit drugs.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said police need to focus on stopping the manufacturing of ice given the number of labs raided by officers in the past 12 months has climbed by 50 per cent.
"We know it's manufactured extremely easily compared to other drugs," he said alongside Ms Berejiklian.
"We know it damages families, we know it's killing people ... Whilst we have rolled additional resources out to country NSW, it's just highlighted the problems."
NSW opposition health spokesman Walt Secord backed the inquiry but called for a drug summit to bring together former addicts, parents, patients, health workers, police and judges to tackle the issue.
The inquiry has also been welcomed by NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann who pushed the government to treat drug use as a health issue rather than a criminal one.
"Resources are currently being wasted prosecuting individuals for drug use and diverting taxpayer's money into a war on drugs which has failed dismally," Ms Faehrmann said in a statement on Monday.
Subject to the Governor's approval, former NSW Crown prosecutor Professor Daniel Howard will lead the inquiry and is expected to report back to Ms Berejiklian next year.
Australian Associated Press