Mum’s ‘heart is broken all the time’ over addict son
IF ACTION is not taken soon, a Mackay mother fears there will only be two places left for her son - a jail cell or the morgue.
The mother of a drug addict, who we have chosen not to name, said she lived with constant heartbreak and she was now taking action.
"Normally he's very abusive," she said.
"It's constant, constant forgiveness.
"You know it's not him. It's the drugs.
"But your heart is broken all the time."
The mum said the claws of addiction first got her son when he was a young teenager.
She said her son suffered post traumatic stress disorder after being abused as an 11-year-old when the family lived in Africa.
Unable to deal with the trauma, she said her son began self medicating.
She said at first it was chroming, but now at age 24 he had become addicted to the methamphetamine commonly known as ice.
Drug psychoses, leading to panicked calls to paramedics or the police, have become part of this family's life.
Because of his addiction, she said she did not let her son come to her home even to see his three-year-old daughter.
But even if her son reaches out to break his addiction, his mother said she felt helpless.
"He's voiced the desire to stop with the drugs," she said.
"He says he wants to change and to break out of it.
"He's asked for help, but there's none around."
She said her son had been on a rehab waitlist since April but this was not the first time they had tried to get help in Mackay.
"We're still waiting for a spot from three years ago," she said.
"If they call without an answer, then the bed goes to someone else.
"They give up on them."
The mum said to break his addiction, her son needed the help before he could slip back into old habits.
"They hit that rock bottom, but there's nowhere to go from there," she said.
"You have to hit the iron when it's hot."
Despite more than 114,000 people living in the region, the Mackay resident said there were only a handful of drug and alcohol treatment centres with only a dozen beds in each.
"There's a huge problem with ice and alcohol and other drug abuse in Mackay," she said.
"I just feel six to eight beds … it's just not enough."
She has petitioned for Mackay Regional Council to lobby the region's state election candidates for a rehabilitation facility.
The council is expected to draft a statement to the Mirani, Mackay and Whitsunday candidates by August 26.
She remains hopeful this could save her son, and other parents, children and partners in the same situation.
But, for now, she said all she could do was hope her son did not become another prison statistic or worse.
"I have a constant worry that he is going to die, that he's going to kill himself," she said.