Mandurah meth forum: “the horror you go through is incredible”

Mandurah meth forum: “the horror you go through is incredible”

ONE store in Mandurah has resolved to stop taking “dirty money” from anyone they believe is a drug dealer.

SportsPower Mandurah manager Hayden Burbidge reckons if every store had a similar policy methamphetamine dealers could be driven out of town.

He was one of many to offer a solution to Mandurah’s methamphetamine problem at a community meth forum hosted by Liberal candidate Zak Kirkup.

More than 70 people of all ages attended the forum to share their stories and offer solutions.

“Drug dealers have decided Nike’s are life,” Mr Burbidge said.

“We have pledged not to accept any dirty money in store, we just say sorry mate, you can leave.

“The reason they deal is because they don’t want to work for it.

“The war on drugs hasn’t worked because we leave it to one element – policing.”

Bill told the crowd about his daughter who had been addicted to methamphetamine for a number of years.

“The horror you go through is incredible,” he said.

“We’ve gone through mental health, but the funding ran out, she’s has psychosis.

“Centrelink gave her 15-year-old a carer’s pension to care for her addict mum.”

Bill said Mandurah Mental Health tried but they “do nothing”.

He described a situation where his daughter bounced between beds in Rockingham and Joondalup, only to return to Mandurah and the drugs.

Member for Dawesville Kim Hames acted as MC and described his own struggle as a parent of someone addicted to drugs.

Dr Hames son has struggled with a cannabis addiction.

He said he was lucky that out of his six children only one of them was affected by drugs.

Peel Youth Services executive officer Be Westbrook also revealed that one of her children had struggled with methamphetamine.

“There always has to be someone who has their back,” she said.

“Amphetamines hijack the reward centre in the brain, addicts don’t look after their children anymore because meth is activating that reward centre.

“The reward centre is in love with meth.”

Ms Westbrook said out of the 600 individuals, aged from 11 to 25-years-old at Peel Youth Services, 75 per cent are connected to methamphetamine in some way.

“The old ways of engaging are not working,” she said.

“We have to be innovative, rehab can’t be two weeks, that’s the detox time.”

Ms Westbrook warned that the “economic impact is yet to come”.

Nikki’s daughter has been addicted for a decade and she is bringing up her grandchild.

“She (Nikki’s daughter) has psychosis, she smashes doors and windows,” she said.

“The hospital has her four or five hours and say she’s calm now, send her home.

“You can’t give support, this drug is horrible, she’s not my daughter anymore.”

Nikki said with every drug addict there is a small window where they are willing to receive treatment.

However, this window rarely opens when there are beds available.

Many elderly people said they afraid to leave their homes because of meth-addicted neighbours.

Nadia said she found a bag of ice in her front yard after a neighbour was arrested.

“I called the police and had the ice for two days before they picked it up,” she said.

“I didn’t sign a statement because I’m too scared.

“Why would I put myself on the court stand? They know where I live.”

Jonathan was a teenage ice addict. He told the crowd he gave it up when he “let Jesus into his heart”.

Scott was introduced to amphetamines on a mine site. He was using them to get through nightshift.

Both men want to help other addicts get off drugs, but don’t have qualifications.

Scott said there are too many people trying to help from a book.

Gene told other parents in the room that they have to learn not to give the last years of their lives to their addict children.

“My son has been an addict since 88 when heroin was bad,” she said.

“We went and formed a parents-supporting-parents group.

“It made us feel not so alone.”

GP down south business development manager Eleanor Britton believes their proposed health hub will help.

“When they come, they only have to tell their story once,” she said.

“We catch people in once centre and treat them there.

“We can engage families in that process. Early intervention and prevention is a key strategy.”

Addiction specialist John Wright believes that decriminalisation of drugs in key.

“We’ve lost the war on drugs with our current policies,” he said.

“Putting more police in place is not the answer.

“We have been pursuing prohibition, putting people in prison and it hasn’t made the slightest dent.”