As the state capital, Brisbane attracts the good and bad with regards to drugs and alcohol. Within Queensland, the city is often found to house the highest rates for both drinking and illicit substances. It also plays home to a number of rehab and treatment facilities, some of which are funded by the state government. Lastly, the city is close to alternative methods of therapy for those seeking assistance in a setting that is private and more affordable.
According to the latest figures, drug use is quite prevalent in Brisbane. The Courier Mail says that of those pulled over by the Queensland police in South Brisbane, almost one in six tested positive for driving under the influence of drugs like cannabis or amphetamines.
Some populations are more affected than others with the Brisbane Times saying that, in December 2014, 36% of those in Brisbane’s main police watch house had tested positive for amphetamines. This was twice the rate found in 2009-10.
The Australian Federal Police have also stopped several drug shipments arriving in Brisbane. From 2008 to 2010, they prevented the import of amphetamines, cocaine and MDMA from nations such as Columbia, the USA, Panama, Argentina, and the UK. This supply of drugs is merely there to meet local demand.
In fact, the Crime and Misconduct Commission of Queensland looked at the Greater Brisbane Area and found that 31.4% of the population had used cannabis, 6.6% had used hallucinogens and 6.1% had used amphetamines. In total, 31.9% had taken an illicit substance before.
Heavy drinking can also have a negative effect on those in Brisbane. North Brisbane has the highest number of binge drinkers in the country with almost 40,000 adults consuming 11 or more standard drinks per time at least once per week. This area includes the middle class inner Brisbane suburbs.
Of course, these habits also affect others in the community. The Queensland Government looked at alcohol-related violence, surveying those across the state including the Greater Brisbane area. They found that almost half of respondents had seen violence in entertainment venues or at public events. Nightclub districts and suburban pubs were seen as the most likely places for these incidents to take place.
The local government runs a number of support lines and treatment facilities for those suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism. For instance, the Australian Government Alcohol and Drug Information Service in Queensland is a hotline giving advice about what to do in these kinds of situations.
There are also two Drug Treatment Clinics operated by the state government which provide assessment, treatment and referral services to those on alcohol or illicit substances. Finally, the local government has launched the Queensland Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan which outlines steps to form an integrated strategy for those suffering from substance abuse disorders.
For locals, there are many reasons why they may not wish to undertake therapy within Brisbane itself. These individuals can always look for support overseas in countries like Thailand where there are plenty of rehab centres offering international levels of care. First, while government treatment is an option in Brisbane, waiting lists can be long. Private therapy is also expensive especially since most insurance policies won’t cover them. Since Thailand has a much lower cost of living, the overall price for a complete rehab programme is much lower than it is in Brisbane even including the cost of the plane tickets.
Thailand can also be a great way to detox your body and rebalance your mind in a private setting. After all, checking into a Brisbane clinic can be embarrassing especially if your family, friends or colleagues find out. Instead, you can simply say you are going on holiday to Thailand and fly off some place where your anonymity is guaranteed. In this way, you can focus fully on your recovery without having to worry about your reputation being at stake.