A MOTHER’S grief at losing a child is heartbreaking under any circumstance. When that loss is to a drug that leaves the child alive but changed into a completely different person who behaves inexplicably and squanders their potential, it is especially heartbreaking.
The account of the South Coast mother in today’s edition, whose child was brimming with ambition and had aspirations towards leadership until they fell into the clutches of methamphetamine is a wake-up call for everyone.
Her child’s descent into addiction to what is commonly known as ice or crystal meth was terrifying. The overwhelming need to feed the addiction led to a spiral of theft and wildly destructive and aggressive behaviour – an unimaginable ordeal for a loving mum.
Truly frightening also is Ivern Ardler’s assessment of the problem here in Nowra. At the front line of addiction treatment through his work at Oolong House, Mr Ardler says our streets are awash with this dreadful drug. One in three people Oolong House sees is addicted to ice, a scary statistic that begs another question – how many addicts are out there who are not seeking treatment?
As a community, we have a collective interest in breaking methamphetamine’s hold. The cost of this drug can be measured in the armed hold-ups, break-ins, assaults and reckless driving that cast a shadow over our lives.
As parents, we need to seek to help if we suspect our children are using ice; as neighbours, we need to alert the police if we suspect it’s being manufactured or distributed in our neighbourhoods. As friends, we need to do whatever it takes to steer people we know away from this scourge so they might rejoin society and live productive, meaningful lives.