Tough task of breaking the ice habit

ICE HABIT: The prevalence of ice in our region brings a significant challenge for users ... breaking free of its highly addictive grip on their lives. Photo: FILE.

ICE HABIT: The prevalence of ice in our region brings a significant challenge for users ... breaking free of its highly addictive grip on their lives. Photo: FILE.

Breaking addiction isn’t always as simple as it sounds, but when it comes to substances like the drug ice, breaking the habit is the only option, an expert says.

Dr Leon Nixon, an addiction medicine specialist and director of the Involuntary Drug & Alcohol Treatment Unit at the Bloomfield campus.

He said ice can be treated the same way as breaking any other addiction, something that he has seen too much of at the unit that he works at and oversees.

“What we know from long-term studies is that most people with drug problems get on top of it themselves with just the help from friends and family,” he said.

‘However, a lot of people seek assistance from their GP or will require help beyond their friends and families.”

If someone is seeking help and rehabilitation, Dr Nixon suggests they call in to the Drug and Alcohol helpline (1800 874 878) which will put them directly in contact with people who can walk them through care programs.

“What we advocate is a stepped care approach to breaking the ice addiction.

“A lot of people who use ice like to think of themselves as different from other drug-users, but the fact of the matter is that the intervention steps are exactly the same as breaking any addiction.”

Dr Nixon said many people struggle with just simply having the willpower to break their addiction, and have to be booked into a medicated detox program.

“Ideally these patients would go on from the detox system to have a good life without drugs, and most importantly learn the methods of drug refusal,” he said.

“If all else fails – relatives, doctors and other specialists – addicts can approach the local Drug and Alcohol permissions for a referral into the treatment unit in Bloomfield. This is the final step for most addicts, and it’s simply just the tenth of just one percent of people that require that level of assistance.”

His final message for ice addicts was to look beyond the stigma society often associates with the substance.

“Everyone needs to be aware that all addictions, ice addictions included, are a combination of genetic disposition and expose to these substances.”

If you are struggling with ice addiction call the Drug and Alcohol helpline (1800 874 878) or a GP.

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