Publican Ian Dundon has experienced the violent effects of ice first hand.
An ice user in a drug-induced rage picked him up and threw him over a tall bar table at a pub in Raymond Terrace.
“It was quite a feat,” Mr Dundon said.
“One minute these two young blokes were talking and next he was trying to throttle the guy.
“I jumped in and he just picked me up and threw me.
“It just shows the dangerous strength, the lack of commonsense and the inability to accept reality.”
Mr Dundon runs the Hunter River Hotel in East Maitland and has been in the hotel and club industry for almost 40 years.
He is also a member of the Maitland Liquor Accord and said he believed ice use had surpassed alcohol as the main issue that faced publicans and society as a whole.
“There is a great deal more violence, a lot more irrationality,” Mr Dundon said.
“People who are affected by the drug gain massive strength, they gain aggression, they lose their rational line of thought.
“They virtually become nearly impossible to handle.
“To get them out of a hotel, to get them to behave rationally with other people who are here for a good time, is a really difficult thing.”
Door staff at the Hunter River Hotel and most venues across Maitland are trained to spot people under the influence of drugs and deny them access to venues.
Mr Dundon said it was rare that ice users were allowed in the hotel, but if they did enter it was their irrational and swift change from peaceful to violent that made them dangerous to other patrons and staff.
“People affected by alcohol, they don’t lose all rational thought, you can deal with those problems far more easily than someone who is on ice,” he said.
“It’s the worst problem that anyone in our situation would have to face.
“But I think it is more a society issue and the government needs to face up to it.”
Mr Dundon said ice use had been prevalent for at least two years in the Maitland community and had coincided with increased unemployment in the area.
He said the Liquor Accord and local businesses had worked hard during the past eight years to see antisocial behaviour in licensed premises become almost non-existent in Maitland.
He did not want to see this hard work derailed by a contingent of the community who chose to take drugs.
“I think the Hunter Valley at the moment is depressed,” Mr Dundon said.
“There is a lot of unemployment and people turn to things that aren’t good for them.”