Breaking the ice - former addict shares story

Photo FDC
Photo FDC

THE link between a state-level sportsman and an ice addict may not seem so obvious, but it was Dylan's (not his real name) reality.

Before he turned 16, he was a "good kid" who played soccer, surfed and did surf life saving, but as he got older he started going out with his mates and headed down a slippery slope.

"I started to smoke weed and when I turned 17 I moved to smoking ice and stopped surfing," he said.

"After that first little bit it just got worse and I kept doing it.

"At first it was like an adrenaline rush and I felt like I could do anything. It's like a craving for a lolly. As soon as you like that lolly you just want more, but it just consumed me."

Dylan's life began to spiral out of control as his relationship with his family fell apart and he turned to crime to fund his habit.

"I got kicked out of home because my parents knew I was doing ice," he said.

Dylan's ice addiction ruined his relationship with his father.

"He wanted nothing to do with me.

"I'd come home and make a massive feed, leave a massive mess and I'd steal money from him."

The thefts didn't stop at money and Dylan said it got so bad that he would go home and steal his dad's possessions to sell for money.

"I tried to steal his plasma television, but he had a lock on it and I sold his washing machine," he said.

While Dylan makes no excuses, he said the ice pushed him to commit crimes, which escalated to break and enter and stealing cars.

"It didn't force me to, but it pushed me to do it more," he said.

"I'd go to a mate's place and have a couple of tokes with the boys and in my head my brain would be telling me that it wasn't enough, so I'd go out and commit a crime to get money and come back and get more ice."

It wasn't until police had a search warrant and found Dylan asleep in his father's garage that his life started to turn around.

"I was 18 and it was my first time going to jail," he said.

"I went to jail for almost five months and at the time I was pretty scared, but it helped me."

Dylan said there were more drugs available in prison than outside, but he made the decision to stay away from it.

"If you stuffed up the wrong deal for a little bit of ice, you could get bashed," he said.

"I thought if I could get off ice in jail, then I could do it on the outside."

Two days after getting out of prison, Dylan started work and two weeks later he got a phone call from his dad.

“He told me I had an interview at Triple Care Farm and we drove down for it,” he said.

Triple Care Farm is a residential program for young people experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness and acute behavioural problems, which has operated in the Southern Highlands since 1989.

“The next day I got a call from Donna at Triple Care Farm and she said I had a place in the program,” Dylan said.

“I was wrapped because I’d started doing a bit of marijuana again, but hadn’t gone back to ice so I was lucky to get into Triple Care Farm.”

This story Highlands ice age first appeared on Southern Highland News.