HOW THE EVILS OF ICE RUINED MY LIFE
By BIANCA CLARE
JOHN* was a 'naive young surfer' when he first met Kate* at sunset on Mullaway Beach.
He had just caught the last wave of the day and she was enjoying an afternoon walk.
After discovering a mutual love for live music, they clicked instantly and during the next four months 'the lovebirds' often shared a few joints with friends before heading into Coffs Harbour for a night out on the town.
John never suspected Kate was using any other drugs until she told him she was pregnant and that she was addicted to the methamphetamine drug, ice.
From that moment on ice turned his world upside down and ripped it apart.
"I lost everything that meant something," John said.
"I naively put her emotional instability, weight loss and continuous picking at her skin, down to increased stress.
"Ice seems very much the curve ball nobody saw coming, especially on the Coffs Coast.
"It's more addictive than heroin and can be 20 times stronger than speed."
John said ice was a sneaky drug, because when first used, it releases dopamine, which sends a message to the pleasure centre of the brain, causing feelings of self-confidence and energy.
"The problem is, these feelings don't last," he said.
"In a desperate attempt to get back that original high, Kate chose this drug over everyone and everything ? I mean our child was born with heart problems because of her habit."
John believes the reason that ice use is on the rise in Coffs Harbour is that it's highly accessible.
"Any dickhead who has access to the internet and the desire to make quick dirty money can attempt to cook it up," he said.
"At hot spots in Halfway Creek I've seen ice made in make-shift labs with ingredients such as drain cleaner, battery acid and antifreeze, which are added to precursor substances such as over-the-counter cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine or ephedrine.
"Interstate drug dealers also target Coffs Harbour because they can double their profits with ease.
"On the Gold Coast ice is sold for around $25 a point. Here the dealers can easily get $50 for the same thing."
John said the ice epidemic was no beat-up, with users coming from every level of society.
"From Boultwood Street to Korora, I have seen people totally wasted ? kissing the sky, talking to walls and looking like walking skeletons.
"That's what's really frightening.
"There are so many people using who you don't see out in clubs and pubs.
"They're in trouble and just barely coping."
John said he would like to see local high schools show a documentary of an ice addict's life to their students.
"This drug is evil and kids need to see that if they touch this shit it will ruin them,' he said.
"Everyday I wait for the call that will tell me Kate's dead."
* Names have been changed