It was an addiction that started from weekend enjoyment of methamphetamine.
But it quickly turned into a weekly struggle.
In 2012 TS* took up smoking meth; in January 2015 he began smoking ice – this was when the addiction would truly begin. Drug use became part of his daily routine.
He would become part of the national statistics of drug users; according to the Australian Drug Foundation, more than seven per cent of Australians aged 14 and over have used a meth/amphetamines (including ice) once or more in their life.
For about four months TS would smoke half a gram of ice a day – every single day.
TS said in the midst of his addiction he didn’t care what day it was, his only concern was when or how he would get his next pipe.
“In my eyes, people are not born addicts, you become an addict, and everyone that becomes an addict does so in their own individual way, and needs their own individual help. Every drug is different and every one is different,” he said.
A number of life events, choices and mixing with the wrong people led TS to his addiction; he said smoking ice would make him happy, blocking the bad thoughts.
“When you’re siting down with a group of your mates passing the pipe around the circle having a rage, it almost feels like you’re stuck in that moment, at that point of time nothing really matters, not the mortgage or the bills or the fact there's no food for the week because you spent your week’s pay staying up from Thursday to Sunday.”
For years his week consisted of being paid, staying up all night, getting high, skipping or turning up late for work and left with no money for essentials.
He knew this cycle had to end, but it was fear of failure that stopped him on several occasions from quitting.
It was the loss of his grandfather, among other things, that truly made TS wake up and realise he had to change.
“The worst thing I did was bottled it all up, I didn't talk about my problems; I didn't want to worry people with my bullshit, so I'd take drugs to make me feel better.”
TS now realised he needed help and decided his best option was rehab: a three-month stay with no drugs, alcohol or visitors.
There was a 10-day waiting period before he would begin his rehab and during this time he stopped using the drug, slept and ate.
With unconditional love and support from his mother – who believed in him and his ability to give up – and best mate, he felt on top of the world.
It was at this point he felt strength and could see the light of victory “if he continued to keep up this simple way of life”.
It's now been more than 100 days since he made the decision to give it up and he hasn’t looked back.
“...just because someone takes drugs it does not make them a bad person, they're just lost in the dark, so shine them some light, they may just find their way out.”
- *TS is a pseudonym to protect his and his family’s identity.