Almost all of Coast rehab centre clients are ice users
DISTURBING statistics have shown 94% of patients being treated for drug and alcohol issues at a Sunshine Coast rehab centre were ice users.
The figures have quantified the extent of the issue faced by staff at Najara therapeutic community, near Nambour, as they mark a decade of helping Sunshine Coast residents.
Program manager Trevor Hallewell (pictured) said 17 out of 18 residents surveyed earlier this year confirmed they were ice, or methamphetamine, users.
He said that didn't mean ice was necessarily their principle drug of concern, but the results were higher than the national average.
Of people surveyed in We Help Ourselves therapeutic communities around Australia, 74% confirmed they were ice users.
Mr Hallewell said the amount spent on the drug was also a concern, with Coast users indicating they were spending between $300 and $500 a day.
That was comparatively high to the $150 to $200 a day users indicated they were paying in New South Wales.
"The biggest problem that you have with that particular cohort is getting them into treatment," Mr Hallewell said.
He said ice users tended to have more complex needs because their mental health could be fragile and they were prone to volatility while in detox.
Meanwhile, he said there were many things to celebrate about the 20-bed facility reaching its 10th birthday.
"In 10 years I think we would have a very strong community of past drug users who have got on with their lives and made a major contribution to our community and society," Mr Hallewell said.
Once in, residents undergo three stages of treatment.
They typically involve an intensive 90-day period where the patient lives at the facility to focus on things such as the reasons that brought them there.
After 90 days they are regarded as senior residents and are asked to start giving back to others by helping new arrivals.
The final stage is a transitioning period where residents ready for exit.
All up, their stay is about six months.
"The longer we keep a client in our sphere of influence, the better the outcomes we get."