Australia has a methamphetamine (meth) addiction problem. A week doesn’t go by without a media report on the impact of Methamphetamines (Meth) and Ice in our community. Countless stories appear in the social media and documentaries detailing the lives affected by this illicit drug. Many families are impacted by a loved one’s Meth use. With statistics indicating Australia is leading the world with its population of Meth and Ice users, it is no wonder we are continuously faced with the difficult journeys of people’s lives and futures being destroyed by meth and Ice use.
Although this drug is not the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia, it has by far presented the addiction treatment services and the general community with some of its greatest challenges. The impact Meth has on the brain and body causes drug tolerance, addiction and damage unlike any other problem before it.
During the past five years, whilst working in an Employee Assistance Program, exposure to the effects Meth and Ice have on families was almost a daily occurrence. Although many initial referrals were not related to drug use, it would often become apparent that underlying these presentations of relationship breakdowns, mental health decline, anger outbursts, extreme anxiety and insomnia was the use of Meth.
As leaders and managers within organisations became aware of Meth impacting the workplace, more information was required on the impact this drug has on a person’s ability to safely and efficiently undertake work tasks.
For 5 years, we have been educating and assisting Supervisors, Leaders, Managers, Human Resources, Injury Management and Rehabilitation Consultants on how to best assist employees impacted by their own or another’s Meth use. There is not one way to do this. Each case is unique and different, but the effects of the drug are the same. The drug is seductive. People are seduced into believing they are not addicted for years, despite overwhelming and mounting evidence to the contrary. It was rare to come across someone who believed they had a problem.
Information is drawn from recent research and informed by our journey assessing and counselling many Meth and Ice users and their family and advising leaders in industry.
The research into this problem is providing solid evidence that people using Meth can, and do, reclaim their lives and their future with professional guidance, building an appropriate support network and staying focussed on the reasons for change.
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AP Methamphetamine bk A5 web