Kids On Ice
Quiet towns across rural Australia are in the grip of an Ice epidemic. Major international drug cartels are working with local outlawed motorcycle gangs to push crystal meth to a captive market of children.
"It's dark. It's scary. It's dirty", says 19-year-old Aaron, a recovering Ice addict. Aaron began using when he was 15 and soon got addicted to the enormous dopamine hit, unrivalled by any other drug. He explains how at his lowest point on the drug, "I tried to hang myself in my mum's shed". Aaron's story is not unique. In the last year 350,000 Australians have smoked, snorted or injected crystal methamphetamine, and the problem is getting worse. In a community of 4,000, one in ten are using the drug. "There's been reports of 10-year-olds presenting at the Emergency Department here", says one clinical nurse. Orphan Jake saw his fortunes turn when he was recruited to deal by a motorcycle gang when he was only 11-years-old. "It was like winning the lotto or getting a licence to print money", he says. In areas with a desperate lack of treatment facilities and under resourced or non-existent police, a generation is being condemned to a life of drug abuse and crime.