“Jake” started dealing drugs at 11 and by 15, was an ice cook and addict.
Bradley pulled most of his teeth out of his head with a pair of pliers when he was high.
Ethan became addicted to the drug after just one hit — and before long, was trying to bust down the door of his family home, willing to hurt his own mother for drug money.
These men are just three of the countless Australians whose lives have been ravaged by the ice scourge currently decimating rural Australia.
It’s estimated that almost 350,000 Australians took ice, also known as crystal meth, in the last year — and according to clinical nurse Darren Cutts, who works with young ice addicts in regional Victoria, the age of the average user is dropping.
“The demographic for ice is changing all the time,” he said. “There’s been reports of 10-year-olds presenting at the Emergency Department here.”
This is the frightening story revealed by the ABC’s Four Corners last night in a report so shocking, so sickening and so fascinating, we believe it needs to be screened as a cautionary tale in schools.
Jake became an ice cook at 15 — and says in rural Victoria where he lives, it’s “as common as weed”.
He told Four Corners there are a number of young people like himself cooking the drug for bikie gangs.
“It’s pretty much like training an attack dog. If you get ’em young, the sky’s the limit,” he said on the program, which aired last night.
The report also told the devastating story of Ethan- a seventeen-year-old boy from Castlemaine in Victoria who says it took just one night for him to get addicted after he was injected by a local drug dealer.
“I wanted to kill somebody almost… I wanted to,” he said. “I couldnt live without it. I felt like… it was my way of life, you know?”
After becoming hooked, Ethan left school and joined a pack of fellow addicts hopping from town to town chasing the drug.
His devastated mother told the program she’d had to call the police because her son would return home in a violent rage, looking for money to fuel his addiction.
“He just… his mouth opened like a furnace and he looked like he could have lifted the house up, his rage was so immense,” Penny said.
“Mum locked the door on me and I remember thinking… if I get in there I will hurt her for money,” Ethan said, recalling those out-of-control nights. “I will get money out of her some, one way or another.”