There’s an ice epidemic sweeping the nation. Ice is now the drug of choice – particularly among young people, or so the media tells us – and it’s creating a scary epidemic that should concern us all.
According to DrugInfo, an informational website set up by the Australian Drug Foundation, when someone starts using ice it’s all hunky dory; they’re confident, energetic and happy.
But with ongoing use, users can have trouble concentrating, suffer from depression or anxiety and, in some cases, become incredibly paranoid and violent. It’s that last factor that is starting to play out across the wider community, with the Australian Crime Commission confirming that increasing ice usage is creating “untold harm” across the country.
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Users can turn into violent people. And when that violent person is your child, there’s nothing you wouldn’t do to try to help them and keep them – and yourself – safe. Even if keeping them safe means locking them in a cage.
One Queensland mother didn’t know what else to do. She had a $3,000 cage installed in her Rockhampton home, complete with double bed and room to move around, when her son asked to be treated as a prisoner.
“I would rather look at my mum as a jailer than be in a real jail,” the 17-year-old told A Current Affair.
It’s an extreme example, but it shows the level of desperation that comes with dealing with an ice addict. And it shows that there needs to be more support out there for families who are going through this unthinkable situation. A lot more support.
I know a young man who takes ice. We’ll call him Jack.
Jack can’t hold down a job, has been evicted from his home, has been arrested several times and is not allowed anywhere near his infant son. In fact, he’s never even met him; the baby’s mother is terrified he’ll try to hurt him.
He wants to do better, but he can’t break free from the grip that ice has on him.
More needs to be done to help people like Jack, and the families of these long-term users. A few ads on TV and pamphlets at the local medical centre aren’t enough. If the government is serious about this country’s young people – and it should be – then it’s about time they pulled their fingers out.
Honestly, I don’t know what the solution is. But it’s clear that this problem is going to get worse before it gets better, and innocent members of the community are being destroyed in its wake.
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