Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

'It's Tearing My Family Apart'; Mackay Miner Describes How Ice Has Affected His Adult Son and Daughter

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

'It's Tearing My Family Apart'; Mackay Miner Describes How Ice Has Affected His Adult Son and Daughter

Article excerpt

Luke Mortimer

luke.mortimer@dailymercury.com.au

SPEAKING from an upmarket suburban home in Mackay while his ice-addicted son slept off a high in a nearby room, a mine worker in his 50s describes how the drug has fractured his family and left him and his wife virtual prisoners in their own home.

The man, who asked not to be named, said not only was his ADHD-diagnosed son aged in his 20s caught in the grips of the fiercely addictive smokable amphetamine, but his daughter in her 30s is also struggling to kick the habit.

To the man's dismay, he said it's tearing apart his marriage of more than three decades and he feels he has failed as a father.

"My wife locks herself in a room when my son's home," he said. "He's smashed probably $5000 worth of stuff around the house. I worry because that door my wife's behind is pretty thin.

"We're always dumped with our grandkids, who we love, but we're worried they'll swallow drugs or something from the ice or pills or whatever is lying about.

"My son's girlfriend gave him a shot at living with her, we hoped it would straighten him out...eventually guys were coming around and they were having (ice) sessions in the shed, so that was the end of that.

"He has pushed his mother over before... and my son and daughter are both known to police.

"The cops have been out to visit us several times, at least. I wonder what the bloody neighbours think."

The Mackay man, who in his own words, is "no angel", said much of the strife started when his son started to work in the mines alongside him, "mixing with the wrong crowds".

"He started using ice heavily a couple of years ago. I had him working with me at the mines originally... I told him if he was going to smoke ice he couldn't be on site."

The man believed splitting families apart for mining work may be a catalyst for further drug use and addiction. …

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