'No one was listening to us'
WHEN Debra Green left Chinchilla's Ice Forum on Monday, it was the first time in a long time she felt assured something might be done to tackle the region's ice scourge, having battled blindly for more than five years to find help for a drug addicted family member.
"People have this thing that they're a drug addict and just walk by, but they're not a drug addict they are a person first and they're not bad people, no one is born bad,” Mrs Green said.
Mrs Green said while the close family member had struggled with addiction for many years, there was simply "no comparison” between ice and other drugs.
"It is through the roof level. It's terrible and you know, they're good people but something happened and they're gone.”
Mrs Green has campaigned to state and federal governments for help to tackle the ice epidemic in Chinchilla and said currently there is nothing being done to assist addicts or families who have fallen victim to the drug, but that the ice forum meant "making phone calls and banging on doors” had finally paid off.
"I started because someone in our family is a drug addict and I found there was no help. I struggled with getting them the help they needed, everything had to be done in Toowoomba,” Mrs Green said.
"I got involved with it and gathered information and started contacting local, state and federal government and just kept getting nowhere. No one was listening.”
Mrs Green said to solve the problem funding was needed and community members, health services and government had to work together.
Mrs Green disagreed with suggestions made by a community member during the forum school based drug education is the solution to the problem.
"While I believe education is important I don't believe it's the answer,” she said.
"The most important thing to come out of today is that we all work together and we talk.
"The main thing I struggled with when we were going through it... is that there was no help and there was no one person - you know, you go to the community centre and they'd say 'here's a couple of numbers' or you'd talk to someone else and they'd say 'well have you tried this?'
"It got me nowhere and I'd make calls and no one would call me back.”