On August 10 Jacqui Lambie surprised the country when she made an emotional announcement in the Senate that her 21-year-old son was an ice addict. Since then she has been flooded with cries for help from other families who face the same problem.
Last week she visited a drug rehabilitation centre near her home in north-western Tasmania, where she told 7.30 about her struggle.
“I’m not talking to my son anymore, I can’t get any sense out of this human being sitting out there. [I] think he is going to end up in jail. I can only pray that a court will see enough sense and [that] he hasn’t done enough harm that the court will … [say] ‘right you will go and do the rehab for the next six months or you are going to jail’, because right now that is the only way I’ll get my son back.”
“I can’t help my own son… I’m struggling with that a little bit. I need to be out there and I need to be trying to help others. Hopefully something will switch in his head and he’ll say ‘please give me some help, I need it’.”
“I ran into my father this morning on the highway and we pulled over and had a bit of a chat. We’re pulling our hair out and we’re both standing there in tears and it’s like — what do you do?”
“If I tried to put my son in [to rehab] right now, the way things are, even if I got him to the door he would walk out the front door. So I’m getting to the point where I’m like many other parents, where it’s going to get to the point where the judge says you’re either going to jail or you’re going to rehab.”
“[The response] has been massive. It’s the biggest response I’ve had since I’ve been in politics. Hundreds of letters, hundreds of emails. We had to put on extra staff for two or three days when I came out and had to take phone calls in the office, because there are people out there crying — they’re screaming for help. Some of these families have got two or three kids on this stuff. They’ve had to give up their jobs. They can’t get them the help that they need. It’s devastating.”
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