Ice Epidemic

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There seem to be news stories every day about the damage being done by meth­amphetamine (‘ice’) in Australia. Personally, I cannot understand why any sane person would knowingly take their first dose, its effects and its addictive properties being so well-known.

But within the past few days I heard that someone I know has done just this. He’s married with a young child and another on the way. He’s a skilled tradesman, employed full-time and well-paid until he was made redundant. To overcome his boredom – or so I have been told by a third party – he decided to step into the dark, tragic world of ‘ice’.

The outcome is predictable. His addiction will drive him and his family into poverty. He will become unemployable. He will become abusive toward his wife, and perhaps to his children. Eventually his wife will leave him. She will have to work full-time to support herself and her children. Her mother will have to abandon her own part-time job to look after the children.

Perhaps things will not work out as badly as this, but the risk is there. The urge to self-destruction, visiting great suffering on family and friends, seems to lurk in many hearts. I just don’t get it.

My anger is directed equally to those to make and sell this vile product and to those who become its willing slaves. And yet the addicts are often portrayed as victims. I don’t get that either. There would be no supply without demand. How can the willing buyer be less culpable than the willing seller?

The same inconsistency applies to other products and services too. How can a people-smuggler be a criminal while his/her customers are innocent victims? How can a prostitute be a victim while his/her clients are vicious exploiters? Please explain.

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