Australia Sees a Rise in the Use of "Ice"

on Saturday, 26 May 2012. Posted in Breaking News, Crystal Meth

Crystal Meth Addiction

An increasing number of people in Bendigo, which is located in Australia, have been seeking help for their addiction to methamphetamine. According to, local drug rehabilitation services have seen a sharp rise in the number of patients addicted to the drug.

The stimulant, known as "Ice", had become the cool "new kid on the block." Police have also noticed an increase in crime that is related to the use and addiction of methamphetamine. Carl Saes, who manages the Salvation Army's statewide Bridge Program that offers a six-week intensive rehab for adults ages 18 to 30, claims that Ice has become a problem all over the state. He said, "I have seen an increase in Melbourne and I can see it coming into country towns. You see the change from ecstasy use to ice because it's cheap and nasty and keeps you going for a few days."

Bendigo Community Health Service's general manager of primary health and integrated care Cheryl Sobczyk claims to have seen this increase in ice use and addiction rise sharply in the last 18 months. She said, "In this current environment most of the crystal meth is coming out of Melbourne and the dealers are very resourceful and a little bit intimidating in the way they market and sell their drug. It's how they sell the drug, too- they put it up as a better drug, more so than ecstasy. They might say it has a quicker effect, a more sustained effect, you get more bang for your buck." But, according to Cheryl, it is that "bang" that becomes the problem. It is more potent, and also more addicting.

Youth Support and Advocacy Services manager Kerry Donaldson claims her service has seen a rise in the number of people under 21 who are using Ice. She thinks the surge is partly due to the fact that it is often smoked, rather than injected or snorted, which removes some of the stigma. She said, "Then all of the sudden they find they can't do it without it and they start getting agitated, picking fights with family and friends and having problems at work."

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