CRYSTAL meth is tearing apart Ballarat families.
But someone has come here to help.
Daniel* is introducing Crystal Meth Anonymous to Ballarat and will hold the first meeting within a fortnight.
Daniel is an ex-addict and has been abstinent from crystal meth, also known as ice, for almost 10 years.
Daniel was an actor and a personal trainer before the Melbourne party scene introduced him to ecstasy and ketamine, which further lead to crystal meth.
“I had a problem with ice for about four years. I kept going into a drug-induced psychosis,” he said.
“I spent 10 months in rehab in Byron Bay. After some time I reached Sydney where I and a few other ex-addicts started the first CMA meeting.”
He began running CMA meetings in Sydney 10 years ago where there are now 10 meetings held a week.
“Ballarat is exactly the same as Sydney’s scene when CMA first started there,” Daniel said.
He said the purpose of a 12-step process was to help addicts understand why they continued to use.
“Once you understand why you do drugs you have a better chance to not do them again.
“Most of society is addicted to something, whether it be work, study, exercise, internet and iPhones, gambling, family.
“But drug addiction receives a lot of focus and attention because it kills people, destroys relationships and harms society.
“When someone has low self-esteem or too much shame, they are compelled to use drugs.
“If you can minimise this, then they won’t need to use.”
CMA orginated in Los Angeles in 1994 and was born out of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Daniel said about 10 per cent of crystal meth users who attended CMA meetings remained abstinent.
He has seen countless success stories where ex-addicts have returned to university, gone on to own their own businesses and held fulfilling jobs.
For information about CMA Ballarat call 0410 324 384 or visit crystalmeth.org.au
*Not his real name