The NSW government will open five more emergency centres as it tries to deal with the continuing crystal meth crisis.The centres at hospitals in Campbelltown, Hornsby and Blacktown and in Wyong and Wollongong will treat people experiencing serious problems with the drug, Australian Associated Press reported.NSW health minister John Hatzistergos announced the new centres, which are due to open next year, in the same week a report showed arrests for methamphetamine-related offences had risen by 250 percent since 1995.Hatzistergos said the clinics were a response to the violent psychotic episodes some crystal users experienced.Hatzistergos has also written to prime minister John Howard and state and territory leaders asking for a national forum to tackle the crystal crisis.The government has already announced plans for crystal meth treatment centres at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst and in Newcastle.The responses that we get from people who use these drugs can be quite impulsive, quite unpredictable, and sometimes quite violent, Hatzistergos said.We’ve had to modify some of our emergency departments to ensure we can maintain an environment of safety for the individuals who are affected, and for our staff.We’ve got psychiatric emergency care measures now in a number of emergency departments and we are planning to construct more.The state government has also launched an advertising campaign about the dangers of crystal meth in the run-up to the end-of-year party season.Meantime, NSW police minister Carl Scully has revealed the government is trialling Taser stun guns to see if they could help deal with crystal users during psychotic episodes.Scully said the guns -“ which can disable a person from 10m away -“ could help police deal with violent crystal users, Australian Associated Press reported.Recommendations from the trial are due within the next few weeks.

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