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.’’
Kyabram's Lisa Jean will become the first female golfer to contest the men's Victorian PGA Championship when she tees up today.
Yarrawonga/Mulwala's largest ever professional golf event, the Shepparton BMW Senior Victorian Open, got underway today with 124 players hitting off from 8am to 1pm on Yarrawonga's Black Bull Golf Course at Silverwoods.
Tatura’s rainfall for the last three months of 2015, 116.6mm, was marginally down on the long-term average for the same period, 120.8mm.
THE historic log barge D26 has broken up and sunk in the wet dock behind the Aquatic Reserve.
ATHLETIC talent clearly runs in the Hayes family.
Special supplement in this weeks edition
For Tocumwal’s Lynda Snowden, working the land hasn’t stopped her from falling in love with the majestic surrounds of her day to day life.
TOOLLEEN Recreation Reserve Committee of Management presented three awards on Australia Day in front of 80 local residents.
The cuteness level at Maryanne Ryan’s place is overflowing the bucket, with the arrival of baby Dougal the donkey.
Deniliquin doctor Marion Magee says she is disgusted with the treatment of local nurses.
Farmers had a good drop of rain two weeks ago and they’re pretty happy about it.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
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.