Mother tells Aveley meth forum of heartbreak at hands of drug

Mental Health and Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell and Member for Swan Hills Frank Alban answering questions at the forum.  Picture: David Baylis       d462795
Mental Health and Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell and Member for Swan Hills Frank Alban answering questions at the forum. Picture: David Baylis       d462795

A MOTHER who has seen methamphetamine take control of her son’s life was among the 20 people who attended a methamphetamine forum organised by Swan Hills MLA Frank Alban in Aveley last week.

Coralee Polain told her heartbreaking story on Wednesday to the group, which included Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell and WA Police representatives Inspector Troy Cooper and Ellenbrook OIC Wal Brierley.

“It’s the relationship with other influences that draws him back,” Ms Polain said.

“We have a big problem on our hands, and we need to unite as a community to fix it.”

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However, she said one positive experience had come out of her son’s addiction.

“I know many meth users,” she said.

“One young girl came to live in our house for a week. Now, her 10-year addiction has been lifted.

“I walk with her everyday and talk to her.

“She has black teeth and holes in her brain. She still has voices in her head, but she knows we’re there for her, she is part of the family.”

Ms Polain refuses to acknowledge she is a hero, despite potentially saving the girl’s life.

“I’m just an average everyday person,” she said.

“I think the number one way to help a person get better and stay better is through relationships.”

Ms Mitchell echoed Ms Polain’s comments.

“(Methamphetamine) is something that needs to be talked about,” she said.

Western Australia was dubbed the ‘meth capital of the world’ earlier this year after results on wastewater found WA residents were using about two tonnes of meth each year, with a street value of $2 billion.

Ms Mitchell said Perth has the highest usage rate for any capital city in the world.

“In Perth, there is an average of 45 doses per day per 1000 people,” she said.

“It’s a number we have to bring down, which can be done by working together.”

She said while the trend of manufacturing meth in clandestine laboratories had dropped, import of the drug into WA had risen.