SYDNEY， Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Methamphetamine accounts for almost half of all drug treatments in Australia， the nation's largest drug and alcohol rehabilitation service said in a report Monday as admissions for the addictive substance increased 53 percent last year.
Rehabilitation provider Odyssey House revealed 49 percent of admissions over the 201516 Australian financial year were for amphetamine type stimulants， tripling the admissions over a decade due to the drug's accessibility.
Adding to treatment challenges， the center's clients also have difficult personal histories and social disadvantage， making rebuilding their lives ever more difficult， requiring more effort， time and assistance despite limited resources， Odyssey's chief executive Julie Babineau said in a statement.
"This year 44 percent of clients were admitted with a coexisting mental illness，" Babineau said.
"Ice in particular can have significant impacts on mental health including psychosis， depression and anxiety， or it can mask or exacerbate pre-existing problems."
Australian authorities have committed large amount of resources to curb methamphetamine use after being declared a "public health crisis" in early 2016.
While domestic programs are attempting to tackle the problem， Australia has partnered with offshore law enforcement agencies， including Chinese drug enforcement authorities under taskforce blaze to help curb the importation of the dangerous drug.
The taskforce in November was responsible for arresting eight people for allegedly smuggling 90 liters of liquid methamphetamine on a fishing boat off Australia's eastern coast.
Babineau she was looking forward to longer-term funding flowing from Australia's central government allocated under the National Ice Taskforce Report and state authorities， allowing more staff to be employed and trained to be "fully operational".
"Ice is a very concerning health and societal problem， but many frontline services like ours have not yet received funds necessary to meet growing demand from people needing professional help to overcome dependence on this highly addictive drug，" Babineau said.
A participant carves an ice sculpture during the 31st International Ice Sculpture Competition in Harbin， capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province， Jan. 6， 2017. The competition opened on Friday， attracting 64 contestants from 13 countries， including China， Latvia， Italy and Spain.(XinhuaWang Jianwei)
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