The Western Australian town of Bunbury suffers from drug and alcohol problems typical of smaller urban centres. With consumption high amongst certain demographics and a lack of proper rehab facilities, usage and harm from addictive substances is mostly unchecked despite the efforts of local law enforcement.
There have been a number of news reports on the consumption and possession of illicit substances in Bunbury. At this year’s Groovin’ the Moo festival, 36 people were arrested trying to smuggle drugs into the grounds according to the Bunbury Mail. Eight people were charged with intent to sell and supply with the largest haul being 65 LSD tabs.
A number of high profile arrests have also been made. The Bunbury Mail writes about one which involved a player from the Busselton Football Club who was caught with amphetamines, tablets and smoking implements in his vehicle. He was subsequently banned from the club. The second was in WA Today and saw the daughter of a local MLA arrested for drug offences. She was caught with 101 grams of methylamphetamine, 125 grams of MDMA, 20 grams of cannabis and $1,700 cash in her home.
Drugs seem to be invading all aspects of Bunbury society as well. Yahoo News reports that consumption of illicit substances by offenders in the local jail was one of the highest in WA. Despite stricter enforcement, trafficking of contraband was still a major issue. In the public domain, police have conducted numerous drug busts in Bunbury. One of the largest was reported in the Bunbury Mail and involved 30 search warrants across the South West. 125 charges were laid and illegal drugs with a street value of between $500,000 and $1 million were seized. Drug paraphernalia, weapons and cash were also confiscated.
Although it is a smaller urban centre than Perth, Bunbury has seen a number of crimes associated with heavy drinking. Perth Now writes that three women were charged with drink driving in the space of a few hours, two of whom had children in the car. All had a blood alcohol level of above 0.08.
The effects of alcohol abuse range from innocent to deadly. Yahoo News writes of a 13 year old girl who went drinking for the first time. After her friends abandoned her in Brunswick, she stole a ute and drove it back to Bunbury where she was arrested with a blood alcohol level of 0.036. She was given a $20 fine and told to attend counselling. At the other end of the spectrum, a 48-year old man was killed in an unprovoked one punch attack by an intoxicated 23-year old. An article from Yahoo News mentions the assailant could not remember what happened that night except for the fact he bought more alcohol after the attack.
There is only one government operated facility in Bunbury: South West Community Alcohol and Drug Services. This is a specialist team which aims at reducing the harm of excess consumption and abuse. It offers social outreach programs including assistance to indigenous people in Bunbury, Bridgetown, Collie, and Margaret River.
There have been numerous calls for a dedicated drug rehabilitation facility servicing the area. The Bunbury Mail had an article in 2014 saying there were no rehab or detox facilities in the South West despite harm from illicit drugs being on the increase due to the regional influx of amphetamines. The issue was again brought up by the Bunbury Mail in 2015 so it seems not much has changed with regards to offering local addicts the support they require.
This situation puts locals into an awkward situation. Either they try to gain support through the only local service, which may be full, or they can check into a private practice somewhere in Australia. This can be expensive though and may not be covered by your insurance. Luckily there is a third option: booking into an overseas clinic such as Serenity in Thailand where the costs are lower and the treatment is still world-class.
Getting rehab overseas also means your privacy will be protected. Instead of hiding your struggle from friends, family and colleagues in Bunbury where drug use and alcoholism may have a negative stigma, you can check into our facilities without worrying about your reputation. Serenity is located in Chiang Rai in the North of Thailand: an 8 or 9 hour flight from Perth. We will pick you up at the airport too and drive you personally to our private rehab centre.