Cold turkey ordeal saved teenage ice addict's life
LISA Barnacle was a teenage runaway on drugs when she was 14.
And she says there are plenty of kids younger than that taking methamphetamine, or ice.
"There are children 10, 11 and 12 doing it. Their parents know about it and think it's cool," she said.
"I'm 26 and I've got three kids, nine, five and 18 months.
"Babies don't take drugs and they don't need to see it."
Yesterday she told a major conference on the drug ice how she had overcome feelings of self-loathing and years of addiction to make the decision that saved her life.
"I put my feet down and walked myself to mental health and told them I had a problem," she said.
"I stepped out of that life. I closed the door and I'm not going back."
In tears, she thanked conference organiser David Allard for his help as a youth support worker with the Community Action organisation.
"We moved up here from Inala to get away from the drug scene there, but when we moved closer in to town, the drugs were here too.
"We got into it for about two years.
"I was awake for three months at one stage.
"I can't remember anything about the month in the middle.
"Then I stepped back and said 'I can't do this anymore.'
"Something clicked in my mind and I thought I was going a bit psycho.
"I went cold turkey and one night I thought that's it. I tore off a whole strip of my medication and took the lot.
"The psychologists say it was a cry for help and it probably was.
"My heart rate dropped below 30 and I was on a cardiac machine for 24 hours.
"The Youth Service people are fantastic.
"I've been clear and with them for seven months.
"We need help," she told the conference, adding that the people providing that help needed more funding.