Having an honest conversation with your children about illegal drugs is the top tip from the local ICE Meltdown Project.
Reflecting on the group’s journey on its first anniversary, founder Janice Ablett said “we are doing a program that works” with more than 20 success stories and 145 clients undertaking its detox process.
However, Ms Ablett warned ICE or methamphetamine was constantly changing and the group’s fight was only just beginning.
“It’s in schools everywhere, it’s in sporting clubs, it’s in every community you can actively think of,” said Ms Ablett. “This drug does not discriminate. We have dealt with people aged 14 to 60 on this drug.”
Acting as a stimulant to speed up the function of the brain and nervous system, ICE causes immediate and long-term physical and psychological effects.
Volunteers report ICE is causing more severe behaviours and psychotic episodes than ever before.
“We are at least 15 years behind this drug,” said Ms Ablett. “It’s huge. It’s been around for that long. No-one saw this creeping in. We’ve got a lot to learn about it. We need to get together in the community and fight this together.”
The ICE Meltdown Project, based in Drouin, was founded on July 14, 2014 to help people withdraw from all illegal drugs including ICE.
Secretary Megan Waddell said the small group of volunteers was working continually with 35 clients to offer emotional and physical support to get their lives back together.
While more than 20 clients are considered success stories after being clean for seven to eight months, she emphasised recovery was ongoing and forever.
Ms Waddell said the group held weekly group therapy sessions for clients who travel from all parts of Victoria. They also have a rehabilitation house “ready to go” once more funds are raised to help clients with accommodation.
She reflected that “in 12 months, we’ve learnt a lot”.