Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Plea for Help for Drug Addicts

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Plea for Help for Drug Addicts

Article excerpt

Byline: Meg Bolton Meg.Bolton@capnews.com.au

YEPPOON mother Debbie Ware's view of addicts changed the day she found out one of them was living in her home.

She thought addicts were the scary hooded figures broadcast on her television screen, but she quickly learned they were people suffering illness when she discovered her child's secret habit.

"You definitely look at people different now being through it," Mrs Ware said.

"You look at a person now as having an illness. It's not about them being druggies."

Discovering her child's illness sent her through a range of emotions - she was devastated.

"You get mad, you get upset, you try to save them and you tell them what to do - you go through all the parent steps," she said.

But when she ran into a woman who claimed to "have something in common" her life changed.

Both women had loved ones suffering addiction. The commonality inspired her to found ICESUP, a Ice Support service for families with loved ones who are affected by methamphetamine.

She started the service three years ago and it is now part of her daily routine.

"I now know that families who have not been affected see the images and behaviours depicted in the media as the norm and want nothing to do with them," Mrs Ware said.

While support to families affected by ice was initially their priority, their focus has moved to providing assistance to families touched by any addiction and also sharing their experiences with others.

ICESUP focuses on disseminating information to Central Queensland families and people in need across Australia.

"We understand first hand the difficulties of acquiring certain information when suddenly thrust into what can be a very distressful journey of trying to save our loved ones," she said.

"We now want to explain the myths of this stereotype and the merits of a residential rehabilitation facility in our town. …

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