Breaking the ice: Moree stands together against crystal methamphetamine

Live from the forum:

Question:

- Roz: “Media says ice is responsible for crime in Moree, but I don’t think that is true.

“I don’t think ice is our problem, I think kids being unsupervised is our problem and alcohol.”

A large applause followed.

7.45pm: “Be mindful, be conscious of the areas around you and if you are suspicious report it.

“You can do it anonymously but we would like to speak it you,” Silversides said.

Report through crime stoppers 1800 333 000 or to your local police.

“If we don’t deal with this as a community, all together and openly we will see increase in ice and in crime,” he said.

“There is a lot of good work being done but there is a lot of work to be done,” Silversides said in closing.

7.30pm: Financial costs are significant to clean up a meth lab. It can cost the community up to $150,000.

“Locally we’ve seen users far, far younger than that (25). We’re seeing children, adults a range of people using it,” Silversides said.

He said police are seeing more people use the drug in the workforce. “The blue and white collars are not immune to it.”

“It really does cover all demographics.”

Ice is driving the significant increase in police drug detection.

“What are we doing about it?” he said.

“You can’t keep arresting people and putting them in jail because they are ice users.

‘It needs to be attacked with treatment.”

Local Area Command Level uses many targets including operations, strike force investigations, police targeting, drug detection warrants and intelligence gathering.

Silversides said locations, persons and vehicles are targeted through street offences, searching, move ons, RBT/RDT, bail compliance checks, suspect targeting management plans and releasee contacts.

“It’s the dealer we are really interested in.”

7.20pm: Detective Inspector David Silversides is now on the mic.

“Speak around the criminal aspects of it. Policing perspective wont police our way out of any addiction, needs to be a coordinated enforcement.”

“It’s not going to be a quick fix either.”

Battery acid and antifreeze has been identified as ingredients used in meth labs.

“It’s a recipe for disaster,” Silversides said.

7.15pm: “The more they take the more active they are but the more their mental health can become disconnected,” Adrian says about methamphetamine users.

“The important thing to mention is treatment is out there it can have an impact. It’s not a magic pill and it takes time,” he said.

7.05pm: Adrian Dunlop, an addiction specialist is next up on the stage. He said counselling was generally the first line of support for people with addiction.

Adrian said it was more helpful for families keep supporting the user and encouraging them into treatment.

“I know it is a frustrating task, but it is possible. 

“It may not be the first or the second time but it does happen.”

Withdrawals

Two to four days after last use:

  • strong cravings
  • fluctuating moods
  • fatigue
  • general aches 
  • muscle tension
  • increased appetite

Debbie’s message

Annie shared a video of a mother who had two sons use meth.

Mother Debbie sought help through a support group.

“See the person not just the drug,” Debbie said.

“My message to families is stay connected with the person as much as possible, it’s the relationship you have with them that is most important and know there is hope at the end,” she said.

Stay connected with the person asmch as possible its the relation ship that is most imporant there is hope at the end see the person not just the drug.

7pm: How does methamphetamine work?

Dopamine, Noradrenaline and serotonin is released giving a large burst of feel-good the for user.

But Annie said what goes up must come down.

“I’ve had users describe it as feeling like a king.”

The drug lasts about 6-8 hours followed by a “crash”.

Long term effects include decreased motivation, disturbed sleep, psychotic symptoms, dependence, chest pains, agitation and aggression.

“It will generally take people 12 months to feel ‘normal’ again after they stop using,” Annie said.

6.45pm: The heaviest users of ice are 20-29 year olds. They are also the heaviest users of alcohol and other recreational drugs.

Annie said since 2014 the average purity of ice is up to 80 per cent.

The drug is becoming cheaper.

6.40pm: Annie reveals the drug was first synthesised in the 1880s and made its way to Australia in the early 2000s.

In the 1970s the drug was made illegal. 

A 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey of Australian’s over the age of 14 shows alcohol is the most popularly used drug followed by cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and then ice.

6.30pm: First speaker, Annie Bleeker, is from the Australian Drug Foundation.

She has over 25 years in the drug and alcohol sector. 

“As a veteran in the field I get asked ‘Annie what is going on with this drug?’ and the answer isn’t always easy. There is no denying ice causes a great deal of harm.”

More information is available on the Australian Drug Foundation website.

6.20pm: Mayor Katrina Humphries acknowledged the huge issues with ice in Moree.

“It’s good to see so many people here tonight to put their best foot forward.

“We’ve had a shocking few weeks of bad behaviour but we cannot let this minority of parasites ruin our community.

“I urge everyone who has issues in their streets or with their families please help the police.

“We need to get a much better handle on whats happening in our community.

“We simply don’t need any more dealers in this town.”

6pm: Chairs are filling and discussion is starting at the Moree Breaking the Ice in our Community forum, hosted by CDAT.

The story so far …

In 2015, the Champion reported the stories of a local person and his battle to break free from the scourge of ice – crystal methamphetamine.

His story of drug addiction and redemption offered an insight into an underworld which would shock many – and yet be shockingly familiar to many more. 

Since then, the fight has continued in Moree, and around the nation, against the dangerous drug.

In August, 2016, almost 20 Moree service providers took part in a one-day workshop about crystal methamphetamine at Maayu Mali Residential Rehabilitation Centre.

The following month, Tony Trimingham – the  founder of Family Drug Support Australia, and father who lost his son to overdose – brought a breaking the ice forum to Inverell and Narrabri.

“The solution lies in the community’s hands, and we will give you some practical tools to deal with the issue,” Inverell CDAT chairperson Jenny Ryan said.

The latest news to hit the printers on ice in our area was last month when Strike Force Sassafra came to town.

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