With regards to drugs and alcohol, Geelong has some serious issues with both. These may be due to its proximity to Melbourne and the fact that it is a smaller urban centre. Regardless of the reasons though, there are plenty living there who indulge in illicit substances, binge drinking, etc. who need assistance to stop the vicious cycle associated with addiction.
By far, Geelong’s biggest drug problem seems to be methamphetamines. The vast majority of local news stories seem to be about this dangerous substance. One example is from The Age about a woman who fatally overdosed on ice while her friends continued to inject around her. The Geelong Advertiser also writes that ice is available at approximately 50% of all teenage parties with more people using than not.
Geelong police saw a 36.3% increase in drug offences occurring from 2011 to 2012, according to News.com.au. The city also suffers from Breaking Bad Syndrome with more meth labs being started in local backyards. Finally, ABC News wrote about Geelong police seizing drugs at premises associated with the outlaw bikie gang, the Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Geelong also suffers with regards to other illicit substances. For instance, a 25 year old prisoner from the Marngoneet Correctional Centre overdosed on methadone in 2014. The Geelong Advertiser writes that 6.7% of prisoners tested positive for drug use. In addition to this, 120 former prisoners had a fatal overdose after their release from 2000 to 2010.
Another drug causing problems is the prescription drug, OxyContin. According to ABC News, this is a major issue for Winchelsea, a small town found to the west of Geelong.
Despite only having a population of approximately 180,000, Geelong has one of the country’s worst rates of heavy drinking. Monash University looked at individuals with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than 0.1 in their study, Patron Offending and Intoxication in Night-Time Entertainment Districts (POINTED), and found that Geelong had the highest average in Australia. The report also found that 81% of individuals reported pre-drinking before going out. Additionally, the Herald Sun wrote that 22% of Geelong drinkers were involved in verbal, physical or sexual aggression related to alcohol.
Geelong has a number of initiatives aimed at reducing damage from drug and alcohol use. Deakin University issued a clampdown on alcohol sales to underage customers which resulted in a dramatic decrease in supply. The trial commenced after it was seen that 41% of Geelong youth used alcohol at 14 years old with initial tests revealing that 80% of bottle-shop staff sold alcohol without checking IDs beforehand.
The Sydney Morning Herald also writes about the Barwon Safe Parties Project which educates parents about how to safely host teenage parties. In a region-wide crackdown, this initiative will help the 90% of parents who wish to host a safe party but who don’t have the proper information on how to accomplish this.
Funded by the government and associated with the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, headspace provides early intervention services for those dependent on alcohol and other substances. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria runs three outlets of the Victorian Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) in Geelong. One of these is found at the Geelong Hospital run by Barwon Health. The hospital also includes other programmes including treatment, interventions and support.
One problem with seeking assistance within Geelong is that the public clinics there can be very busy. In a Geelong Advertiser story, the Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) director said that increased demand had meant that their beds were full with waiting lists of several months. A surge in ice use was partially to blame as individuals were taking much longer to detox.
Instead of going to an expensive private clinic in Geelong, it is better to seek help a nation like Thailand where the waiting lists are shorter and the final bill is a fraction of the price. Serenity offers international standards of treatment on the isle of Koh Samui, allowing you to recover without spending a fortune. We also offer complete confidentiality as you are thousands of kilometres away from Geelong. Tell everyone you are going on holiday and hop on the plane to Koh Samui. Flights are 11 to 12 hours from Melbourne depending on where you transfer. We will also pick you up at the airport to make your journey to our rehab centre even easier!