Ice as 'readily available as pizza' on the Coast
A SOCIAL drug crisis as horrifying as the one crippling the Gold Coast is destroying Sunshine Coast children's lives every day.
That's the view of leading psychologist and The Health Retreat Maleny owner Francis McLachlan, who is sick to death of kids becoming addicts.
He said addiction could stem from a single puff and quickly spiral out of control.
He warned drug use did not discriminate by age or gender and drugs could be found on nearly any street corner.
"If you start with the young ones from the low socio-economic backgrounds, they look for an escape," Mr McLachlin said.
"Some upper-class kids have plenty of money and do it as it is a cool culture.
"It is an enormous problem. Working-class people, wealthy people, every suburb around. Mums, dads, pensioners, everyone.
"It is every bit of a problem here as it is the Gold Coast, and that is scary."
Mr McLachlan likened drugs like ice as being more readily available as pizza, and more often than not, would be delivered sooner.
His sad laugh that followed was far from funny, but a grim reality of the problem.
He knew of cases where the drugs were being supplied by the parents to kids in primary school.
But for those unfortunate parents who are doing the right thing, he said help was available.
"We as a community have to say no and do something about it today," he urged.
"The bottom line is, depression, anxiety and self-worth leads to self-medicating and when that gets out of hand, drugs.
"Parents, if your child is acting suspicious, or disconnecting, get educated. Have them tested, get advice.
"Make sure they're not under the influence. Usually when they push away there is something wrong."
Through rehabilitation centres like The Health Retreat, help is at hand.
The retreat helps patients take those crucial first steps to recovery. They start with a detox, then programs to rebuild self-worth, focusing on the long-term outcome.
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
- MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78
- beyondblue: 1300 22 46 36
- Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800