When former lawyer and ABC journalist Luke Williams moved into a drug house, it was for research on a book he was writing about crystal meth.
But within months, he’d fallen deep into an addiction to ice, and a psychosis so deep that it led him to almost murder an innocent woman.
Luke tells his story to Meshel Laurie on this darkly gripping episode of the Nitty Gritty Committee podcast:
Luke says that once an idea is planted in a meth addict’s head, the paranoia spirals and there is nothing that can convince them otherwise. Feeling hurt and betrayed, homicidal feelings burned inside Luke, and he admits: he could have killed a girl who made the mistake of walking into his house. He had convinced himself that the woman was part of a plot to allow a drug-dealer to sleep with his ex-lover.
Watch: The anti-drug campaign Faces of Addiction is aimed at bringing awareness to drug addiction and reducing the stigma attached. Post continues below.
Luke’s transformation had everything to do with his rejection of “boring” jobs and the “straight” society that had bullied him as a kid. He became driven by his need to immerse himself in another world. A world he wanted to write about.
This obsession with Gonzo journalism is what led the former drug addict to quit his job in the law and move into a junkie house in the suburbs of Melbourne, obstensibly as research for his book, The Ice Age: a journey into crystal-meth addiction. But in his search to understand the powerful grip of this dangerous illicit drug, Luke was pulled back under its spell.
Luke says he became lost in a psychotic fantasy, threatening to kill his parents, and experiencing a short period of homelessness. His face was covered in scabs and lumps and his teeth were black. He was the picture of a meth-head.
He tells Meshel about his descent into addiction and how he returned. Despite his experience with psychosis and hallucination, he says for him, life inside a crystal meth den isn’t anywhere near as scary as attending the Walkley journalism awards.
In case you needed any more reasons to say no to drugs, check out these before and after mugshots showing the effects of meth. Post continues below.
Luke’s story resonated because drug use in the Australian suburbs is not a storyline on a TV show, but something that’s beginning to touch more and more of us.
Meth or ‘ice’ use in Australia has tripled in the past five years, with an estimated 268,000 regular and dependent methamphetamine users in Australia. The Australian Crime Commission has warned that we are in danger of an ice ‘pandemic’ that is costing Australia over $1 billion every year. Ice use increases the risk of violence and psychosis, and it’s dangerously easy to get addicted. It tears families apart and all too often leads to homelessness, and tragically, death.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Druginfo on 1300 85 85 84 if you need to talk to someone about drugs abuse, addiction and rehabilitation.
You can listen to Meshel’s interview with Luke Williams for the Nitty Gritty Committee podcast here: