THE drug ice is seeping through the Bendigo community like cancer, according to Bendigo magistrate William Gibb.
Police are at their wits' end. Families are being torn apart and ice-related crime is skyrocketing.
The Bendigo Advertiser has teamed up with Bendigo Health and Victoria Police for the Break The Ice campaign and we invite any organisation who can make a difference to get involved.
We hope the campaign will provide an honest account of what ice is doing to our community as told by the people affected most.
We would like to think it will bring change but such an outcome rests with community desire to break the grip ice has on our city.
The danger posed by this terrible drug on our community demands serious attention.
Do you have a story to tell? Email your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IS ICE?
Ice is a highly purified crystalline form of the drug methamphetamine.
According to the booklet On Thin Ice: A Users’ Guide, it’s a highly addictive, man-made stimulant that is usually made from pharmaceutical drugs used in cold and flu medications together with other chemicals.
It can be smoked or injected and stimulates the brain’s natural chemicals that are responsible for making us feel excited, alert and euphoric.
People often feel nervous and agitated when they are on ice or coming down, and aggression is also one of the problems people worry about when one of their friends or family members use ice.
The relationship between ice and aggression is not straight-forward and sometimes violent behaviour is related to methamphetamine psychosis.
Ice can cause a brief psychotic reaction in some people where they hear and see things that aren’t there and have unusual and implausible thoughts about things.
The most common symptoms of methamphetamine psychosis are: hearing or seeing things that aren’t there and feeling suspicious and feeling like other people are watching you, picking on you, or out to get you.
The physical effects of ice can include: jaw clenching, teeth grinding and other dental problems. Also strain on the kidneys, strokes and heart attacks.
- Personal account: Toxic drug is tearing families apart: mum
IN a moment of desperation Bendigo mother Michaela considered running her son down with her car in a last-ditch attempt to put an end to his ice addiction. Read her story here.
- Lobby group may be solution to Bendigo's ice problem
IT took a Newcastle man just over an hour to get his hands on a few grams of ice after leaving a Bendigo rehabilitation service.
That is how easy it is to score the drug, according to Transformation Ministries International general manager Bennett Cain.
Tragically, that man is now dead. Read full story here.
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.