FAMILIES in the south-west are being destroyed by the drug “ice” which is readily available in country towns, according to a south-west drug and alcohol service.
Glenelg Southern Grampians Drug Treatment Services manager Bev McIlroy will highlight the devastating impact the drug has on families in a submission to the state parliamentary inquiry into the supply and use of methamphetamine.
“I’ve said this so many times, it’s a drug that destroys families and destroys your soul,” she said.
“Families are heartbroken that they’re not able to understand or rationalise with family members that are not able to get help.
“The behaviours put barriers between people, between husbands and wives and employers and employees.”
Ms McIlroy said the use of ice had increased in the Glenelg and Southern Grampians Shires and through her work she saw the devastating impacts on families.
“What we’re noticing is the harmful impacts on the family unit,” she said.
“The family unit is being damaged.
“It’s an unexpected trend in country areas with behaviours not seen.”
Ms McIlroy said the use of methamphetamine often meant aggressive and violent behaviours.
“There are very unexpected and different behaviours,” she said.
“Users have a limited control over their behaviours.
“It seems readily available. Users are given the drug for an affordable cost in the first instance.
“Once they’re hooked they’ve got a drug debt and they’re kept in the drug system.
“When they find they’re not 10 feet tall and want to get out they’ve got a drug debt. They then use to deal and deal to use.”
Ms McIlroy said although ice was the current trend in illicit and experimental drug use, alcohol remained the drug which caused the most harm to the community.
Recently Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre acting operations manager Daryl Fitzgibbon welcomed the parliamentary inquiry.
He said no area had been left untouched by the drug.
He was hopeful it would mean more resources were put into dealing with the complexity of the problem.
“It’s a growing issue statewide,” he said.