"I wish I had access to David Martin Place when I was trying to get off drugs."
Matt is 19 years old. He has 2 older brothers and an older sister and grew up in Sydney. Matt is also addicted to ice.
When Matt was 16 years old, he met a girl whilst out in the city with friends. Soon enough, they were spending most of their time together.
“Slowly I stopped spending time with my friends and even my family, I just spent all of my time with Lisa. She lived with older housemates so there was always parties. I was having fun and didn’t really care about anything else.”
One night, just before his 17th birthday Matt was at a party with Lisa. This was the night he first tried ice.
“My family had no idea where I was or what I was doing. I lied to them all the time. They thought I was out with my friends, the ones they knew and trusted. They had no idea I was spending my weekends high on ice.”
As Matt’s drug use increased his destructive behaviour became obvious to everyone around him. His life was spiralling out of control and he cut contact from anyone who expressed their concern for him, including his family. His life revolved around his next hit, Lisa and his new ‘friends’.
When Lisa left Matt, all he had left was his addiction. He was lonely and angry, so he took more drugs, sleeping in the street, refusing to go home to his family knowing this would mean facing reality.
Eventually, Matt, cold, scared and alone went home to his family. But there was a condition to retuning home – he would have to stop using drugs. Matt agreed, and after seeing the family doctor attempted to detox at home.
“Detoxing was painful. My body ached and my head wasn’t in a good place. I just couldn’t deal with the pain as my body wanted another hit. So I quit. I left, got high and went back to the streets.”
The next time Matt struggled to find his next hit he returned home, again trying to detox. The same pattern of leaving mid-detox occurred 3 more times before Matt was put in hospital after a near overdose.
Thanks to your support, Matt is now at Triple Care Farm, rehabilitating from his addiction to ice and working towards his goal of a repaired relationship with his family. Matt would like to one day work as a mechanic and hopes to gain an apprenticeship when he leaves the Farm.
“I wish David Martin Place was available when I tried to detox the first time, before hospital. Detoxing at home was hard, and it was too easy for me to quit. I failed a lot. If I had the opportunity to go to David Martin Place I think I would have detoxed sooner. To be in a place, away from everything and with the right care for young people would have made the process easier and more effective.”
On Friday 2nd June, David Martin Place was officially opened. David Martin Place, the first youth detox service of its kind in Australia will help hundreds of young people like Matt escape the ravages of addiction before their lives are ruined.
Your support of Sir David Martin Foundation is making this service for youth in crisis a reality. Thank you.
*Name and image changed to protect identity.