Ice. It’s a drug that has become a scourge on communities across the country and has torn families and relationships apart.
The substance, also known as crystal methamphetamine, has become synonymous with crime, violence and erratic behaviour and significantly changes people’s lives.
Court lists are full of matters associated with the drug, with many people struggling to break the cycle of drug use and offending.
Everything we hear about ice is that it’s a horrible drug that affects people from all walks of life, whether directly or indirectly.
The special report in yesterday’s edition of The News highlighted some of the key issues around ice use in the community, including personal stories from former users and the grandmother of a user.
The former users told an all too familiar tale about how they became hooked on the drug and the difficulties they faced to get through the addiction and come out the other side.
Problems associated with the drug are varied and complex and there is no easy or quick fix.
But the provision of a new support group is a positive step towards addressing the issues in the short, medium and long term.
The Local Organisation of Ice Support group starts in Shepparton this month and is intent on opening up the communication channels to talk about the drug.
The group aims to educate the community about ice as a health and safety issue and break down barriers in the community by encouraging those affected to access available support services.
Some users may feel they have no way out of the situation and have no outlet to access support.
But education on the issue has to be strong and the new group goes a long way to supporting people who need it the most.
The issues around ice use and addiction are plentiful and they will certainly not be solved overnight.
However, it is pleasing to see this new group starting up and allowing people access locally not only to support, but also to network with others going through the same challenges.