Shining a light on ice use in Moree at forum

AN ice forum, held in Moree on Thursday evening, attracted a full crowd of community members eager to learn more facts about the drug.

All bases were covered on the night, with three guest speakers including addiction specialist Adrian Dunlop, Detective Inspector David Silversides from Barwon LAC and Annie Bleeker, representing the Australian Drug Foundation.

Ms Bleeker shone a light on the national statistics surrounding ice use, stigma and explained how the drug worked on the body.

“To see change, stigma around the drug needs to decrease, because people are afraid to seek help.

“I’ve had users describe it as feeling like a king,” she said when explaining an ‘ice high’.

Next up was Mr Dunlop, who encouraged family members to try and stay connected with the known user.

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

He also explained users seeking forms of rehabilitation rarely quit on their first attempt.

“Treatment is out there and it can have an impact. It’s not a magic pill and it takes time,” he said.

Mr Dunlop warned the more the drug was used, the worse the user’s mental state becomes, sometimes causing psychosis.

Afterwards, Detective Inspector Silversides shared a policing point-of-view surrounding the drug.

He said police believed ice was not being made locally and was supplied from a larger area, however, he urged people to remain alert about suspicious behaviour in their street.

“Meth labs, and I use the word lab loosely, can often carry odd smells, covered windows and suspicious people hanging around,” he said.

Battery acid and antifreeze have been identified by police in the past as ingredients used in labs.

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

He also said it was impossible to police a way out of addiction.

“It needs to be a coordinated enforcement of police, services and the community.

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

Police have identified the drug being used by a diverse range of people in the community; seeing adults and even children using the drug.

“Blue and white collars are not immune to it.”

He encouraged the community to report all suspicious behaviour to Crime Stoppers, or local police.