Crystal Methamphetamine: The Rise Of Ice Addiction In Australia
Methamphetamine, more commonly known as “ice” is a highly addictive stimulant drug and has become a major concern in Australia due to an explosion in addiction to the substance.
The surge of methamphetamine use is having devastating consequences for individuals, families, and communities combined with an alarming increase in drug-related criminal activities, social issues, and elevated hospital admissions, all of which are putting enormous pressure on health services, social services, and law enforcement.
This pressure is partly due to this illicit drug being relatively cheap. It can easily be obtained tempting more people to become drawn into its grip eventually leading to a state of dependence and addiction.
Many addicts fail to seek help due to the stigma surrounding ice use which contributes to heightening the issue which appears to have an endless cycle of addiction.
The escalation of ice addiction in Australia is critical and evidence shows that it is an epidemic problem with an ever-increasing demand that needs serious intervention to prevent further strain and related harm to people’s health.
The fight against drug use including those who use ice is a continuous battle in Australia as it is in many other countries around the world and government agencies are engaged in intervention and prevention campaigns, targeting regional areas that may benefit more from alcohol and other drug-related issues to improve health and welfare, and working closely with communities and health providers to find ways of eradicating the problem that is creating an ever-growing demand for treatment and support.
In this blog, we explain the reasons behind the boom for this substance, how addiction happens, and what action to take to help someone recover from such an addictive substance.
Why Is Crystal Methamphetamine Use In Australia So High?
As with most countries, the Australian Government is facing detrimental problems with alcohol and other drug substance addiction that are constantly increasing and saturating drug treatment centres and pressuring the Department of Health to find solutions to address the problem.
Why there are so many people affected by drug and alcohol abuse in recent years may be due to several factors and there is no specific reason for them seeking to go that route, although there are several possible motivations for becoming addicted, these should not be relied upon as being the major factor.
- Divorce or Separation
- Break-up with family or friends
- Poor health
- Social exclusion
- Experimental pleasure
The majority of drug addicts find pleasant feelings or euphoria when they take certain substances that last momentarily and for them, this seems a better option for seeking temporary happiness until the effects wear off and further consumption becomes a necessity while undermining the detrimental effects that can be a risk to their health physically and mentally.
However, another major reason for ice being a popular choice of drug abuse in Australia is that its price is much lower compared to other potent drugs making it more accessible for many. Additionally, this form of methamphetamine has powerful stimulant effects making the substance more appealing to individuals in search of a longer-lasting and heightened kick of energy and euphoria.
It would appear that these elements promote a more intense drug experience making it a desirable choice and with a high-ranking widespread popularity.
Help A Loved One With Alcoholism Before Ending An Intervention
Whether you conduct a brief intervention yourself or with a specialised intervention team, before the closing stages, your loved one should be offered treatment options and solutions to address their substance use disorder and overcome their addiction. Hence, they are aware of being able to reach out for help and regain control of their life.
When discussing treatment plans or finding help with alcohol rehab centres, it is crucial not to pressurise or decide for them. Remember, their agreement to get help is a massive decision and needs to be respected.
They should not feel guilty or blamed for their addiction, to the contrary, they should receive your full support and encouragement constantly, and let them know they are not alone on their journey to recovery. Your help is vital every step of the way once they agree to accept treatment.
At this point, you should take into account that not all interventions can work and sometimes a person may not want to participate in the intervention.
This doesn’t mean you should give up as they may want to seek help later or be more willing to listen to a professional counsellor rather than friends, there could be several reasons why.
The most important thing to remember is that intervention allows everyone to air their views on an individual’s alcohol problems and face their loved one with the support they need.
After a successful intervention meeting, promises should be kept and followed through vigorously. That could mean finding adequate treatment for their condition, stopping funding their drinking problem, providing them with daily needs they have neglected, or even seeking a mental health professional if that may be needed.
Whatever the outcome, you need to put a plan in place as soon as possible and demonstrate to your loved one that they have made the right decision and are not alone as they embark on their path to a happier life.
The Effects Of Ice Use And Addiction
Continued use of methamphetamine can become extremely addictive leading to serious health problems. The negative effects of ice can cause insomnia, skin sores, and the typical tooth decay it produces as well as paranoia, hallucinations, and deterioration of mental health.
More seriously, ice can potentially lead to heart problems, and weight loss and may significantly cause damage to the brain, especially if the substance is used with other drugs.
Like other drugs, a prolonged use of ice causes dependence and the rate of ice users is similar to that of cannabis users, the difference being that ice causes elevated neurological alterations making it extremely difficult to kick the habit once a person has become addicted.
You may notice behaviours of an individual that could be a sign of addiction and may include stealing or getting involved in crime to fund their habit, losing interest in everything other than using the drug or neglecting work, personal life, and daily tasks.
If you are concerned about anyone developing an ice addiction, you should seek professional advice and remember that addiction can happen to anyone and nobody is beyond help.
What Happens When You Stop Using Ice?
When someone stops using crystal meth many symptoms can arise making it extremely difficult to try and quit the habit on your own. Apart from intense cravings to use the substance, other symptoms may include:
- Suicidal thoughts
Some of these symptoms may feel unpleasant causing distress and discomfort and may last up to two weeks while the body and brain recover although in severe cases, these symptoms may last longer.
It should be worth mentioning here that people who use ice may fully recover and damage to the brain caused by this type of drug can be repairable over time but because there is a high risk of relapse and severity of withdrawal symptoms, it is highly recommendable to get expert advice and help to overcome these problems.
Is There A Recovery From Ice?
People who regularly use ice and have dependency, over time will find their pleasurable and desired highs become less pleasurable when complications start to develop and become distressing.
Complications can include those affecting memory and behavioural functions or drug-induced psychosis that can cause hallucinations, delusion and distorted perception similar to symptoms of schizophrenia.
Due to the unpleasantness of these symptoms, it is not unusual for the individual to use more of the substance in an attempt to alleviate their distress and find ways to ease the discomfort, hence re-engaging the cycle.
The good news is that methamphetamine related addiction including ice can be treated. The path to recovery may not be easy and could take some time to repair the damage caused to the body and mind but also to heal broken relationships and reestablish normal daily routines.
There is an elevated risk of relapse so the individual must have a sense of purpose and desire to rid themselves of the addiction for any chance of success. Again, with the right support and treatment, it is possible to break free from needing ice and move forward to a healthier and better life.
Methamphetamine Users In Australia Can Get Help With Treatment Options
Alcohol and other drug use addictions are increasing at an alarming rate in Australia and although these conditions may be treated, it is vital to seek professional help and find facilities that can provide detox and rehabilitation programmes.
This could present concern for people living in remote areas of Australia who find drug support centres too far away or inaccessible due to the high demand for treatment and excessive waiting times for admission.
Not only that, private rehab centres throughout Australia generally come with a high price tag which for a majority of individuals is unaffordable.
However, looking further afield other treatment options could prove more cost-effective than you think and can provide the same high level of care and support to address the condition and assist with recovery.
Sivana Bali is a luxury five-star rehab facility located on the island of Bali, Indonesia and only a 7 to 10-hour flight away from Brisbane.
We provide residential treatment for inpatients who come to us for addiction problems and offer personalised programmes, such as ice addiction treatment, that are tailored to suit each person’s needs and requirements.
After an initial assessment, the first step is to undergo detox which is supervised by our professional medical specialists and carefully monitored for signs of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Prescribed medicine may be administered to help alleviate these and reduce the intensity to ensure maximum safety. After a successful medically managed detox programme, the following phase is rehabilitation where the patient will receive a wide spectrum of activities such as support groups, holistic therapies and a care plan that has been designed specifically for each person.
At the end of rehab, you will receive ongoing care and support that you can easily access and will help you along the road to recovery and regain a much healthier and happier life.
We may seem miles away but Sivana Bali may prove a better option in finding suitable treatment as we are not far away from Denpasar airport and can provide first-class treatment for less than you think.
Why don’t you give us a call today? We will gladly talk you through the options and treatments we have available and our friendly staff will answer any questions you may have.