Australian Author Jackson Oppy Offers Help to Ice Addicts, Families in New Book
After 15 harrowing years of ice addiction, Australian author Jackson Oppy sought the help he needed to make a successful recovery. Now, he offers his advice to others struggling with ice addiction with a new self-help book.
A new book by former ice addict Jackson Oppy has shed new light on the horrors of addiction to the drug and the challenges facing Australian authorities and drug rehab clinics.
The release of Mr Oppy’s book, When Hell Freezes Over, comes at a time when ice, also known as crystal methamphetamine or ‘P’, is never far from the headlines. Today, ice is the second most abused drug in Australia after cannabis, having overtaken ecstasy, heroin and cocaine as one of the nation’s chief drugs of choice. Today, Australia is the second highest consumer of ice in the world per capita, with an estimated 1.3 million Australians having tried it.
Ice affects people from all walks of life right across the country. While many drugs are, perhaps stereotypically, associated with disadvantage and impoverished urban areas, ice has pervaded all walks of Australian society. One recent survey found that most ice users in Australia live in rural areas , while many addicts come from perfectly happy middle- or upper-class homes.
Today, more people from all walks of life are coming forward to tell their stories of ice addiction. When Hell Freezes Over was published in March, coinciding with an eye-opening 60 Minutes documentary series on the extent of Australia’s ice addiction problem. On that show, former World Surfing Champion Tom Carroll revealed his years-long struggle with methamphetamine.
An Immediate Descent into Addiction
In many ways, the stories of the two men are similar. Both started out taking other drugs like cocaine and ecstasy, and both report an almost immediate descent into addiction once they began taking ice.
‘Ice is just one of those drugs that can be taken easily, we need to understand a lot of people are trying ice for the first time on the back of a drink, on the back of a joint,’ said Jackson Oppy.
‘Once they try it, for a drug addict… it becomes the drug of choice because it is the most powerful high there is.’
Over the next 15 years, Oppy’s addiction would spiral out of control, resulting in his business going under and his family cutting him off. His situation had become so desperate that he was finally willing to admit that he needed help.
‘For the first time in 15 years, I was faced with reality. I am actually just a middle class drug addict with a whole bunch of issues that I need to address,’ he said. ‘I have to do the work here, no one else can fix me.’
Getting Help for Ice Addiction
One of the chief messages in Mr Oppy’s book is that anyone can become addicted to ice, and anyone can kick the habit with the right help and support. He also freely admits that overcoming a meth dependency takes a lot of willpower.
‘Recovery is an ongoing process,’ he said. ‘Wanting to get well is not enough.’
Like Tom Carroll, Mr Oppy found the help he needed at an addiction treatment centre through one-on-one counselling. While ice users frequently report not being able to imagine a life without the drug, thousands of Australians have broken free of their ice addictions once they get the treatment they need.
As recovery professionals gain a deeper understanding of meth dependency, treatment methods are becoming more effective and the number of successful recoveries is rising. Some residential programs in the US are reporting 60 to 80 percent meth addiction recovery rates after six months.
While ice is known for the alarmingly quick physical and emotional deterioration it causes, users can make a full recovery with the right counselling and support. The stories of Jackson Oppy and Tom Carroll prove that ice addiction is not a life sentence. Effective amphetamine addiction treatment is available for anyone who wants to turn their life around.
Signs and Symptoms of P Addiction
Even if you’ve used meth just once or twice, you could be at significant risk of developing a debilitating and life-threatening addiction. If you’re experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms, we suggest you seek treatment immediately:
Physical symptoms – Insomnia, hair loss, open sores, rapid dental decay (meth mouth), insomnia, trembling and shaking
Psychological symptoms – Paranoia, hallucinations, nervousness, disorganised thoughts, violent thoughts
Behavioural symptoms – Financial problems, legal problems, aggression, broken relationships, impulsiveness, social isolation
Even though ice is considered one of the tougher drugs to kick, it is far from impossible. While there will be some emotional and physical discomfort in the early weeks, quality inpatient ice addiction treatment significantly raises the chances of a full and lasting recovery.
Jackson Oppy is now a general manager at a drug rehab clinic, where he devotes his life to helping people avoid making the same the mistakes he made and aid them in successful recoveries.
‘The conversation needs to change from “Ice is bad, these people need to stop,” to “let’s actually look beyond that veneer,”’ he said. ‘Why are these individuals choosing to use on a daily basis? Why are they choosing to forgo everything else in their life to feed this drug habit?
‘Because they are unwell in the first place, and until we address that as the issue, we are never going to make any headway into the addiction.’