While ice users are rightly given attention, care and support, their loved ones are often left behind.
That’s something Maggie, a former teenage heroin addict and now the mother of an ice user, knows all too well.
A clinical hypnotherapist and former psychologist, Maggie recently moved to the Ballan area after a court order against her son was made for her own protection.
However after experiencing a teenage addiction of her own, Maggie says she understands the traumatising world of drugs from both sides.
“And I honestly don’t know which is worse,” she said.
“People make these decision over and over again that are literally destroying their own lives, however as a partner, a parent or dear god a grandparent – we naturally try to protect the ones we love, and most of the time we can get hurt in the process”.
Building from her own experiences, Maggie has created the support group ‘JustIce’, which aims to show anyone suffering from the ice epidemic that they aren’t alone.
Working alongside a Melton mother of two, the support sessions will be held weekly at the Hudson Hotel in Ballan.
“The sessions are open to those who are struggling with an addiction, as well as those who are the supporters, however it is fundamental that they are separated. The information, the message and the support is incredibly different,” Maggie said.
“As a user – whether they are already on their path of recovery or they are making the decision to do so – that in itself is a different process. And for the person who is supporting that individual, they are also on their own path. All recovery is different”.
With a number of drug support groups already out there, Maggie said it was not about starting something new, but starting something in collaboration with what already works.
“The sessions will be focused partially on the concept of AA meetings, but it won’t be using that same step model. We are closely following the Family Drug Support model, which is based on a realist level, and that is the idea that any recovery is good recovery,” she said.
“So if someone comes in and they tell me that sobriety is the way, or the methadone program is the way, then I’ll sit there and I’ll work out the plan with them. Who am I to tell people how to get off their drugs? If they come up with a recovery plan, they are already halfway there”.
JustIce is a non-denominational, non-judgmental and child-friendly space, which will be held each Monday from July 13.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/justiceyouarenotalone.
First appeared in The Moorabool News, July 13 2015