Perth has a real problem with drug abuse in general and "ice" in particular. It seems that not a week goes by without at least one clandestine meth lab exploding in a house or unit somewhere out in the suburbs.

And you do see a surprising number of people who seem to be under the influence of the drug, or ravaged by its long term use. I was on a bus into the city a few months ago and this very wound-up young guy got on. My first thought was that he was high on meth. And sure enough he soon started exhibiting bizarre behaviour.

After sitting down he ear-bashed the bloke sitting opposite him with tales of his run-ins with the law, and how he'd spent time in prison for his involvement with a drug lab! He yammered on continuously about this for the entire duration of the journey. He was loud enough that everyone in the bus could hear everything he said, too.

He was wearing dark glasses when he alighted. But after a few minutes he took them off. His eyes were truly scary. They had this wild, bleak quality to them. They actually made me think of the zombie-like bad guys from The Omega Man.

I'm not sure whether he was actually high at the time. If he had been incarcerated for drug offences then he probably wasn't. So the state he was in was most likely permanent. That's sadder, in a way.

And he's clearly not alone. There are many young people in this city whose brains have been severely, permanently damaged by this drug.

As if this were not bad enough, there's now another powerful and destructive drug being manufactured here. It's called DMT, and has hallucinatory properties. Users of it can wind up in hospital and suffer long-term health effects.