BENNETT Cain is calling on the community to have empathy for drug users and addicts.
Mr Cain is the general manager of Transformation Ministries International and has been busy establishing a new drug and alcohol rehabilitation service in Bendigo.
He said drug addicts, including people hooked on ice, became controlled by the substance.
“Often the community and society look down upon the addicts, and they have a misunderstanding about what it’s about for them and who they are,” Mr Cain said.
“They’re a greatly misunderstood group of people.
“They’re good, genuine people, a lot of them, but they just don’t know how to break free of the addiction and deal with the underlying issues.
“And that’s where programs like transformations can come into play.
“Because not only do we want to treat the addiction, we want to treat the issues that led to the addiction in the first place.”
Mr Cain described a former Bendigo Transformations campus resident, an ice addict who recently died, as “a beautiful man”.
“He had a lovely heart and loved his family,” Mr Cain said.
“But the addiction just had control of his life.
“I’m not sure that he had any real violent tendencies while he was using but what I see are talented, gifted people that through the addiction become someone who they’re not usually.
“And the behaviours that go along with the addiction are quite dramatic.
“He didn’t want to be like that.
“But they become controlled by the substance and by the addiction.”
If you need help, call: Family Drug Help 1300 660 068; Family Drug Support 1300 368 186; Directline (Alcohol and Drug referrals and telephone counselling) 1800 888 236; Lifeline
13 11 14.