ACT Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson has called on Chief Minister Andrew Barr to deliver a whole-of-government response to the scourge of the drug "ice".
A week after Prime Minister Tony Abbott launched a federal government taskforce to prepare a national action strategy on the drug's impact, Mr Hanson said the territory should work with the Commonwealth and New South Wales for an improved local response immediately.
He said the drug, and other forms of crystal methamphetamine, risked destructive and violent consequences in Canberra.
"To be frank, I think the response needs to be led by the Chief Minister and it has got to be a whole-of-government approach," Mr Hanson said.
"If he's not prepared to [lead the response] then the logical candidate would be the deputy chief minister who has health and attorney-general responsibilities."
"Ultimately this is a leadership issue and if we don't tackle it head-on ... then we're not going to achieve what we need to, which is to prevent the youth of Canberra getting addicted to ice."
An effective territory response to the drug's threat would include action on drug and criminal law reform, policing responses, treatment and rehabilitation options, education, preventative measures and increased community awareness.
Mr Hanson said each of the areas would be improved through cross-border co-operation with New South Wales.
"I don't want to play a blame game, this isn't about what has and hasn't happened. There are clearly gaps but my focus is on what needs to be done," Mr Hanson said.
"This is an emerging and growing problem. I want the government to be proactive and advise the community what action they are taking, and I would support the government providing additional resources as required to tackle this problem head-on."
Last month Directions ACT said a steady increase in Canberrans reporting methamphetamine as their primary drug had been recorded, with the number of injecting users jumping by 13 per cent last year.
Chief executive Fiona Trevelyan said there were links between methamphetamine use in the community and reported family violence cases.
The Australian Crime Commission's latest report said ice users are more likely to demonstrate violent behaviour and aggression, including domestic violence and sexual assaults. Users pose increased risks to frontline law enforcement officers and health care workers, as well as their own family, friends and drug suppliers.
The ACC said clear links exist between the ice market and organised crime syndicates.
A Salvation Army drug treatment centre in Fyshwick has reported a 23 per cent increase in patients identifying methamphetamine as their primary drug. Some 40 per cent of users said ice was part of their normal drug intake.
In November, the centre reported a 155 per cent increase in Canberrans seeking treatment for methamphetamine addiction amid mental health problems and unpredictable violence.
"If you are simply doing law reform and additional policing, you are only hitting one side of the problem," Mr Hanson said.
"It needs to be co-ordinated, and it needs to be a synchronised approach that addresses education, treatment and community services."
Attorney-General Simon Corbell last week welcomed the new federal government taskforce on ice and said an effective response in the ACT should involve law enforcement, health and education.