Former ice user opens up about her addiction

UPDATE: Community and family members have an important role to play in combatting the use of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, in the Clarence Valley.

A forum in South Grafton on Tuesday heard from experts and frontline workers that the user won't always reach out for help.

A past ice user, Viki, who didn't wish to give her last name, told the meeting that it was up to loved ones to look for assistance because users don't seek out services until they reached the point where they wanted to stop.

But when they did seek help, she said, users needed to work with doctors to ensure they get the right treatment for their situation.

"You need to tell them what will help them," she said.

Viki said keeping busy, staying occupied and being honest was the key to users staying clean.

"Say you love them, you can call me throughout the day," was her advice for family members who are often on the front line of helping users.

Local medical practitioner Dr John Drinkwater said because treatment of ice use is not a part of standard training, doctors had to actively seek the knowledge to help users.

"Because doctors don't know enough, they don't want to get involved," Dr Drinkwater said. "There is a lack of education, lack of support and fear."

Kim Gussy from the North Coast Primary Health Network said they have plans to educate general practitioners about how to treat ice use.

Senior Constable David Fish encouraged the use of Crime Stoppers to tell police about suppliers, dealers and manufacturers and stressed that any information is kept anonymous.

Meeting attendees and panellists also discussed how the money from the National Ice Taskforce could be spent to help the community combat the use of ice.

EARLIER: A landmark community event tackling the Clarence Valley ice scourge is under way in Grafton today.

Community Conversation: yarning about Crystal Methamphetamine is on at the New School of Arts Neighbourhood Centre in Souther Grafton.

The free event is a partnership between North Coast Primary Health Network and Bulgarr Ngaru medical Aboriginal Corporation.

Frontline workers will speak about the impacts of ice on the community and highlight what is needed to
Information covered today will include:

  • what crystal methamphetamine is and how it affects the brain and the body
  • why people might use this substance
  • treatment and support options for people using crystal methamphetamine
  • how to get family and community support.

RELATED

Teen use of ice rises in Clarence Valley

Drugs 101: Alleged ice king pin arrested

Police get serious in fight against ice

How would you rate the level of methamphetamine use on Clarence Valley?

This poll ended on 10 April 2016.

Current Results

Out of control

31%

Unacceptably high

46%

Of concern, but not out of control

6%

Similar to most other regional communities

12%

No issue

2%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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