health

The hardcore drug being used by young women as a means to lose weight.

Driving home last night, I heard a report on Triple J’s Hack program that absolutely floored me.

The current affairs program recently covered the issue of ice abuse in regional Australia; and it was this report that uncovered another disturbing trend among young female and male users of the drug.

Listeners told the program that the drug crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as ice, isn’t just being used to get high, it’s also being used to lose weight.

“You’re seeing girls who used to be a bit chubby and now they’re 10 kilos, 15 kilos less within a year… you’ve got the added addiction of the weight loss and then you’ve got the addiction of the most dangerous drug in the world.” – James, Gippsland

One caller, a high school teacher (who wanted to remain anonymous) in regional Australia, told Hack she’s seeing students turn to ice to solve negative body image problems.

Hack reporter Sarah McVeigh also spoke to Jess* (not her real name), who first tried ice two years ago when a friend suggested she try it to lose weight.

ADVERTISEMENT

From the Hack transcript:

‘At the time she was 70kgs and says she had tried to slim down by going to the gym and taking diet pills, but she wasn’t getting results.

“I think every girl has pressure from the media,” she says.

When a friend suggested she try ice to lose weight, she agreed.

“It was basically like breathing in clouds. It was ecstatic, it was euphoric. It’s probably the best I’ve ever felt in my life.

“I would go for five or six days and then sleep for two days and smoke weed. I ended up losing about 10 kilos,” she says.

“It was scary because it worked.”’

After six months of heavy use Jess quit ice and moved from Adelaide to Melbourne.
At first the weight she lost stayed off, but eventually she gained it back.
Jess says she regrets ever having tried ice.
“I wish that I never took that first puff…it’s always going to be in the back of my mind for the rest of my life,” she says.’

As one listener Max Thompson tweeted, “Is it really worth using ice to lose weight when you could also lose your mind, or your life?”

Common side effects associated with taking ice include memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior and potential heart and brain damage.

There’s also the added glamour of body sores (from users picking at their skin), the feeling that bugs are crawling on you, psychosis and hallucinations. These before and after photos of drug users give a good indication of just how addiction can affect lives.

Now if you, like us, think this is quite a disturbing trend, know that you’re not alone. Mamamia spoke to Christine Morgan, CEO of The Butterfly Foundation about this news. Here’s what she had to say:

The Butterfly Foundation’s Christine Morgan.

“This is indicative that negative body image and the compulsion to be thin drives too many people to engage in highly dangerous behaviour.

“Accepting our bodies and engaging in self care, rather than self hatred, enables us to grab hold of life and live it, rather than hide from it.”

Is ice or any other drug an issue in your community?

If this post brings up any issues for you, please contact The Butterfly Foundation on 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673).

00:00 / ???