Break the ice: Ice use high among gay men

GAY men are using the drug ice to spice up their sex lives, according to a DVD produced by Peninsula Health.

Break the Ice tells six personal stories, interwoven with expert commentary, and is designed to help people who use drugs recreationally, and their family and friends, to recognise the signs of problematic drug use.

Kurt, one of the interviewees in the film, explains that the attraction to methamphetamine is the sex. 

“The high’s incredible and you go all night,” he said.

Dalgarno Institute executive director Shane Varcoe yesterday directed the Bendigo Advertiser to the film, which can be found online at www.bluebelly.org.au/blueroom/videoDetails4d5f.html?aid=224

Dalgarno Institute is a coalition of alcohol and drug educators that focuses on community education.

It has been tackling public health issues for more than 150 years and has a campus in Bendigo.

Mr Varcoe said ice was not high on the institute’s agenda but the whole community could play a part in stamping out the drug.

“Ice is a drug that’s particularly nasty,” he said.

“It ebbed and flowed and made its way into culture about 10 or 11 years ago.

“Because it was a new thing, people thought ‘let’s have a crack at that’, and it’s created all sorts of issues.”

Mr Varcoe said ice was incredibly addictive.

“What I know from community health groups down in Melbourne is the highest users of ice are the homosexual male community,” he said.

“That then brings about concerns about unprotected sex.” 

Bendigo police said they did not have the information about the various ice user groups in central Victoria but had confirmed that methamphetamine was the drug causing them the most concern.

The Bendigo Advertiser recently teamed up with Bendigo Health and Victoria Police for the Break The Ice campaign and is inviting any organisation that can make a difference to get involved. 

Mr Varcoe said education was a powerful tool. 

“Education works when we’ve got a clear message being sent out, not only by schools but by parents, reinforcing that illicit drugs have long-term effects on both the health of the individual and society and that we’re going to be a paying a price for it,” he said.

If you need help, call Family Drug Help on 1300 660 068, Family Drug Support on 1300 368 186, Directline (Alcohol and Drug referrals and telephone counselling) on 1800 888 236 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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