IT'S the drug spreading through regional areas in a way no illicit drug has before, and new figures reveal the epidemic is tightening its grip on the Coffs Coast.
More than 7.2kg of crystal methamphetamine with a street value in excess of $18million has been seized by police on the mid-north coast in the past 18 months.
The figures come as a 32-year-old man was arrested in Coffs Harbour this week, charged with possessing 11g of crystal methamphetamine.
Coffs-Clarence crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said police were focussed on reducing the drug's hold on the community.
"There's a strong ice culture within this community, which police are working our way through to not only map but also significantly disrupt," Insp Jameson said.
While the devastating effects of ice on users are well known, police said the drug was also impacting crime, including theft rates.
Insp Jameson said the public could help police by providing information.
"Police are continuing a focus on building our intelligence, including targeting persons involved in trafficking drugs up and down the east coast," he said.
"We are asking the community to provide us information not only on ice users but persons engaged in dealing and trafficking illicit substances."
ICE SEIZURES IN PAST 18 MONTHS
Coffs Harbour: 3.7kg