Echuca family speaks out about ice and the effects it has on a family.RUTH CLAYTON February 5, 2013 4:29am
Kellie* used to think drug users were dead beats, but not anymore.
She can only feel sympathy for them, and for their families, whose lives are torn apart by bad choices of a loved one.
That is because her own family is paying severely for the choices made by her brother Alex*, who is only in his twenties and is facing the consequences of an ice addiction which began mid last year.
He is in jail, tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and has lost the trust of family and friends.
The family, who live in Echuca, did not wish to be identified but wanted to speak out if it could help others.
Alex now is a stark contrast to the young man Kellie described as typical and popular before ice.
‘‘He was great, everyone loved him,’’ Kellie said.
‘‘It really is the devil.’’
Her brother’s journey to ice addiction was a slow progression.
He started smoking marijuana at 15.
He was what many would consider a recreational drug-user on weekends.
He was on other drugs, including speed, for several years before he even tried ice.
‘‘Like a lot of people, you can probably imagine the progression from that (marijuana) to something else like speed, and of course alcohol is in there as well,’’ Alex’s dad Terry* said.
‘‘It can escalate.
‘‘We knew he used to take speed, but it wasn’t as devastating as ice.’’
Alex started using ice in May 2012, first smoking it and later injecting it.
It was obvious from the outset that Alex was on ice
He was depressed, paranoid, agitated and lost weight.
‘‘Ice completely takes away your morals, your sense of right and wrong,’’ Terry said.
‘‘And it makes them do things they would never do in a million years.’’
Terry said it was impossible to be a recreational user of ice.
‘‘Once you’re on ice, it’s game over, that’s it,’’ he said.
‘‘People shouldn’t ever try ice with the idea that, ‘I can just do this sometimes’.
‘‘Because you can’t do it sometimes.’’
And, according to Terry, ice is ‘‘easy’’ to obtain in Echuca and surrounding areas, so Alex had no problem accessing the drug.
But, for the past few weeks, while Alex has been in jail for crimes relating to his addiction, he has been on detox.
His emotional and mental status is now stable.
‘‘He looks alert, he looks healthy. He’s happy, and he says, ‘This is the best I’ve felt in six years’,’’ Terry said.
But there is a difference between detox and rehabilitation, and Terry believes every recovering addict needs ongoing support.
‘‘Detox is simply withdrawal of the drug, making them unavailable to the person,’’ he said.
‘‘But rehabilitation is obviously required for all recovering addicts because it addresses all the other reasons why they took drugs in the first place.’’
Terry is hopeful Alex will be rehabilitated after he is released from jail.
The family has seen first-hand the devastation ice has on lives, no matter what socio-economic status.
‘‘It’s not like he was disadvantaged and on welfare,’’ Terry said.
‘‘It can affect anyone, we’re a good family.’’
Jan and Peter Wallace will attend the most emotional Anzac Day dawn service there is.
The Yarrawonga and District Cemetery Trust has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Department of Health to undertake development work at the Yarrawonga cemetery.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Echuca shearer Franky Atkinson has earned himself a return trip to New Zealand next year after an impressive run of performances in shearing competitions.
William Napier, whose remains lie in Rochester cemetery, received the Empire's highest honour for gallantry while fighting for the British army during the Indian Mutiny.
Tongala family hopes for transplant call for six-year-old.
Family of former Seymour man killed in a road crash in Los Angeles before Christmas set up a Melbourne University scholarship in his honour.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
The Cancer Council Relay For Life fundraiser is a cause close to the hearts, and feet, of many district residents.
Redgum sculpture is carved at Thompsons Beach, Cobram.
Deniliquin Police ConFest Operation nets 76 drug detections.
Murray Goulburn has lifted its milk prices to about $6.66 kg milk solids.
Benalla's Joda Plex was named Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE's student of the year at her graduation this month.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.