Recovering ‘ice’ addict wants to start rehab support group
SPEAKING down the line to Jordan Connery Fletcher (pictured) in his rehab accommodation in Brisbane, under different circumstances you never would have guessed he was a recovering crystal methamphetamine addict.
Jordan has a friendly voice, an open-book attitude and on first glance he's the kind of guy you would naturally smile at if you passed him on the street.
But the stark reality is, just 71 days ago, the 22-year-old from Yeppoon was one of about 75,000 Australians caught in the addictive grip of crystal meth, commonly known as ice.
Today, Jordan is far from the aggressive, depressed, anxious and erratic person he had been for the past five years.
"It all started with leaving school. I was using drugs at school, actually, with my mates. It was just the mentality - it's very common in Yeppoon," Jordan said.
"When I was about 15 I started doing drugs like acid and pills and then that escalated to ice.
"I tried ice for the first time when I was 16 and it had a lot to do with fitting in because everyone else was doing it too.
"I used it a couple of times when I was 16, then had a break from it until I was about 18 and continued using it until I was 21. I'd use it every two to three days and I was chasing it all the time."
Jordan said nothing could have prepared him for the downward spiral his ice addiction thrust his life into.
"Ice is different. It breaks everyone down. It changes your morals and the way you treat each other. Once you get that addiction, it's just about feeding that addiction no matter what," he said.
"I did some dealing and some illegal stuff, stuff that I would never do in sobriety. It varied but I'd spend hundreds of dollars a week on ice - it's not a cheap drug. I'd get in debt and I'd do things to get out of it, like swap things and steal money.
"I lost a lot of friendships and ruined a lot of family relationships. I lost my work ethic pretty quickly and I was abusing Centrelink payments."
Jordan said suicidal fears led his family to intervene and, ultimately, save his life.
"I had a suicidal period because I couldn't get rid of my addiction. I felt like I had no way out and even though my mates were all using it too, I thought I was the only one going through that feeling," Jordan said.
"Thankfully for me, I have a very supportive family and they all came together and intervened to get me clean. I had a few failed attempts at breaking my addiction. I'd be clean for two months and then do it again and it would only take two days for me to fall back into the addiction.
"I've been down in Brisbane at rehab for 70 days now and it's been great. If I'd known about the support down here earlier, I would have been here in an instant."
Looking back on his time as an addict, Jordan wished he had sought help sooner and now wants to help other drug abusers in the Central Queensland community break their addictions too.
"I just want to give back to the community now. There is no Narcotics Anonymous program in CQ and I want to get a group and a community support program going for that," he said.
"There is help. It takes courage to ask for it but once you do it's always better in the end. I just want to show young kids that there is a way forward and a way out."
Depression and anxiety
Poor memory and concentration