My son, in his late 20s, is a wonderful young man. He is the kind of son every mother dreams of, caring, loving, always doing the right thing, and he would do everything and anything to help you. Then without any type of warning, when he does his drug of choice, there are no boundaries in his life and he becomes a totally different person.
He grew up a happy, healthy respectful person, who was liked by everyone. He played every sport available, had 100s of friends and just enjoyed everyone’s company. Then when he started work as an apprentice plumber, that’s when everything changed. My husband and I saw changes but thought that it was typical behaviour of starting his first job as an apprentice.
Our son was used to a good quality of life. We always went on family holidays together, regularly would go out to restaurants and our son had every modern convenience you could think of.
The first few years of him working, he was going through his money quickly. We both thought that maybe he is not very good with saving money and thought he was just spending too much on every day things. We brought this to his attention, and his comment was, I’ll get better with money and start saving. At this stage we had no idea what was going on and what he was doing.
Couple of years later, we were lucky enough to own the house next door to us. So we offered the house next door to our son and his girlfriend to rent at a reduced amount. Thinking this would smarting him up and then he would be better with money if he had his own place and reasonability’s.
About 2 months after our son moving next door all hell broke loose. A car full of guys ( thugs with guns) came to our sons front door and demanded money. He told them that he had no money, and they said well you better get some. Our son was so scared, he asked his girlfriend for her eftpos card to withdraw money to give to these thugs. She gave him her card then the thugs drove our son to the nearest 7/11 store where he could withdraw money to give to them. Then they drove him back home, bashed him and threw him in the gutter
His girlfriend rang the police, that’s when we found out what has been going on. Our son and his girlfriend moved out of their rented house and they went to live with her parents. That lasted 12 months until he was politely asked to leave. He returned home to live with us.
The drug of his choice is ice, and now we are working on helping our son deal with the urges ( triggers). I will continue my fight to help our son, and to educate him on getting back to a normal, healthier life. It may take time, but I can already see a small change in him, and I believe he deserves a second chance in life, as we love our son very much, he is our only child.

-A Mother, Melbourne

Who do you love more?family or drugs?
I had just turned 21 years old, I recently became unemployed and had just witnessed a heart wrenching court trial over the tragic death of a former colleague. I was weak, vulnerable, hurt and scared of what to do with my life or what steps to take next. A friend I had known for many years but not seen in about 3 showed up unexpectedly at my door one day. She was a babbling mess, she had just broken up with her bf who was becoming violent and aggressive. this person showing up was the start of what would seem to be a never ending hell for the next two years.

I wasn’t entirely aware of what I was getting myself into, I had heard little of ice  and didn’t know much about it. She said try it, it will make everything disappear and u will feel like a weight is lifted. I did, and she was right, but from that moment it was to be a ugly, downhill spiral that lead to me using ice everyday.  I lost relathionships with family, friends, and it just got worse and worse, until the worst thing imaginable could happen that made me wake up to myself and come clean. My brother was jailed over a tragic accident that lead to the death of his friend. This sent me to the brink of suicide, I was a mess, i was so heart broken and hurting for my brother and I can remember looking in the mirror and being horrified at the girl who stared back. I was a young girl who was previously working as a hairdresser, I had no eyebrows, no eyelashes, I was 45kgs when I was once a healthy 63kgs and I looked like a walking zombie from not having slept. i burst into tears and became so angry at myself, but this time it was a different anger rather than the usual drug fueld tantrum. I was so angry at myself for allowing me to get to that point, I was disgusted. How could I attend court and sit in court as a relative to my brother looking like a dirty crackhead?. from that moment I forced myself into a complete and total detox, I had told my mum I was finally getting off the drugs, I don’t think she believed me but I was determined to prove her wrong, I warned her and said it’s going to get ugly so pls ignore me, pay me no attention as I’m going to get off this shit. I locked myself in my bedroom for a month, only leaving to eat or use the bathroom. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t that easy, I mean I literally had to lock myself away from the world, cut all ties with every single person except my mum and keep thinking of my brother as my motivaton to come clean, my brother hates drugs, he was unaware that I was even on them. Eventually after about 6 weeks I finally started feeling normal again, my eyebrows were growing back, I had spent most of that 6 weeks sleeping, I was thinking more clearly and as time went on I became more and more determined and motivated to never ever look back. I eventually decided it was time to tell the rest of my family the truth and why I had become so distant from them for two years, everyone was shocked, it hurt me to hurt them with the truth but again I used that hurt to fuel it into positive motivation to keep on keeping on with my drying out. It’s now only been about 4-5 months since I have been clean, and although many do relapse I am certain that I will not and I have not relapsed. Anything is easy if you can keep yourself strong, turn the anger u may feel into motivation, use the emotions or whatever hurt u feel as fuel to keep yourself determined to get off and stay off drugs. At the start I pictured myself running in a marathon, I was so tired, I was so out of breath and as I thought I was about to give up and stop running I told myself don’t u dare!, ur so close and every step gets u closer!. Keep yourself determined and make yourself become stubborn in a positive way to prove everyone else wrong that ever called u a junky or put u down, prove them that you are not!

-Vanessa, NSW