Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Descent into Hell and Back; Hervey Bay Woman Reveals Her Battle with Ice, as the State Govt Launches $1 Million Blitz to Fight the Epidemic

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Descent into Hell and Back; Hervey Bay Woman Reveals Her Battle with Ice, as the State Govt Launches $1 Million Blitz to Fight the Epidemic

Article excerpt

Carlie Walker

LUCY Gentle has woken up from a nightmare.

Consumed by addiction, she was more readily able to accept going to jail than the idea of giving up drugs.

Now, 11 months after she checked into Hervey Bay's rehabilitation centre Bayside Transformations, Lucy, 27, is clean and is about to become the first female graduate of the centre's program.

Living on the Fraser Coast, Lucy said she was aware of a growing drug problem in the area.

Lucy says lots of people contact Bayside Transformations in the hope of combating their addictions - and she hopes sharing her story will help more people reach out for the help they need.

A year ago, Lucy admits she was in hell.

Her path to addiction started early, smoking cannabis and cigarettes by the age of 12 before moving on to alcohol, then speed, then ecstasy and finally, at only 16, ice.

She now believes she was using drugs to deal with a range of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.

Lucy says at the height of her mental illness, she contemplated suicide.

Lucy's partners drew her further into addiction and she worked as a stripper for six years to fund her habit.

Then, finally, on the Gold Coast, the law caught up with Lucy and her then-partner.

To evade police, they moved to Rockhampton, but the ghosts of addiction followed them there.

Alone after her partner left her, she was consumed with fear.

At what was possibly her lowest point, she remembers selling other users drugs that was really Epsom salt, or brown sugar mixed with saliva, whatever she could sell to make some money to fund her own addiction.

Then Lucy faced court and was ordered to attend rehabilitation sessions.

At those sessions she met Darren Yates, a man she can't speak of highly enough.

He told her about Bayside Transformations, his Christian treatment centre, and that the program would take a year.

Lucy rejected that outright; the idea of spending a year at a Christian centre trying to beat her addiction did not appeal to her. …

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