A recovering ice addict who lost custody of her children due to the drug has shared her story, as others in Tasmania join the push for more rehabilitation services.
An annual report shows ice, also known as crystal methamphetamine, was the drug choice of 35 per cent of Tasmanian users in 2017, up from 18 per cent seven years ago.
Those in the drug market say it has never been easier to access illicit drugs like ice.
Drug and alcohol counselling service Holyoake has likened it to ordering takeaway pizza.
Kelly Woulleman used ice for five years and lost custody of her children as a result.
“Absolutely terrible for me it was, losing the kids … that was a major impact on my life, I felt like I had lost everything,” she said.
“I’ve been in a number of car accidents due to the ice … so I’ve had a pretty crap life myself out of the ice use.”
“My face itched, I could feel the hairs on my face standing up, the hairs on my arms and, like they say, it feels like you’re picking bugs out.
“Next thing you’ve got major sores all over your face everywhere.”
Ms Woulleman is now on a rehabilitation program and has two weeks to go.
“The people in here are great, easy to talk [to],” she said.
“They say it takes time to stop and smell the roses and appreciate the little things, and [the program] has given me insight into everything.”
Addicts need more support facilities, Salvation Army says
Brad Watson, from The Salvation Army, said addicts under the age of 18 and those with children had nowhere to go.
“We have a lack of facilities in Tasmania for people under the age of 18, we have a lack of facilities for parents with children,” he said.
“So being able to facilitate space for those cohorts would be wonderful.”
The head of Holyoake, Sarah Charlton, is pushing for a more collaborative approach between police, care providers and policy makers, “where you have all of these service providers who are at the pointy end, who are at the coalface”.
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“If we could talk more about our experiences and how we can better network and have smoother referrals, because it’s all about the client, she said.
“We don’t want to punish these clients — we want to help them.”
The ABC understands that a $200,000 report by a private company identified an annual funding shortfall of millions of dollars in the state’s drug and alcohol sector.
A State Government spokesman said a summary of the findings was still being completed and would be provided to stakeholders when it was finished.
The spokesman said the Government intended to release as much of the report as possible, as soon as possible.
Before the March state election, the Government promised $6 million for 30 additional drug and alcohol rehabilitation beds over the next three years, as well as more than $1 million for community service providers, including Holyoake.