Ice addicts flood injection rooms

A safe injection center in Australia is experiencing unanticipated problems with meth addicts:

Injecting centre medical director Ingrid van Beek said eight per cent of the 220 addicts using the centre each day were injecting ice – more than twice the number 18 months ago.

“Ice changes people’s behaviour in such a dramatic way and can be quite scary,” she said. ‘

“People become incredibly strong and quite aggressive, and that’s what makes the impact of this drug greater.”

Staff had undergone additional training to manage abusive behaviour among ice addicts and to identify the early signs of psychosis, Ms van Beek said.

“Staff have to be aware of how to manage that sort of crisis situation, and our staff are specially trained in that.”

Ms van Beek said that if people showed sings of emerging psychosis, they were counselled and not allowed to enter the centre.

The Sunday Telegraph approached several addicts outside the injecting centre who admitted to using ice inside.

One man said staff did not check the type of drug he injected.

“I just don’t tell them. They don’t care; they just write you down on a piece of paper,” he said.

“You just say, `I’m doing hammer (heroin)’ and go boom, boom quickly. Just keep it quiet.”

Another addict, calling himself Ace, said: “Hell yeah, bro, it’s a proper sealed joint in there with security guards and all. You can do what you want.

“It’s amnesty once you cross the door; cops can’t touch you.”

A security guard at the Mansions nightclub, across the road, said ice users were often seen stumbling on to the street, drug-fuelled and aggressive.

“They must be on ice – they’re screaming and ranting and raving,” he said.