Newcastle has had a rocky history when it comes to drugs and alcohol. As the second largest city in NSW, it has suffered from a combination of poor infrastructure, a growing population and a lack of local entertainment. Thus, a large proportion of those living there have turned to drugs and alcohol as something to pass the time. Add strict lockout laws and a recent ice epidemic into the mix, and it's obvious that many Newcastle residents are in crucial need of decent rehabilitation options.
Drug Use in Newcastle
Statistics on local drug trends don't paint a pretty picture. ABC News reports that, during 2015, the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) found an 18% increase in ice detections within Newcastle. This corresponds to a 60% rise in amphetamine detection within the surrounding Hunter Region. Another ABC News story speaks of an alleged large scale ice syndicate running jointly from Newcastle and Moree.
Other drugs are also a serious problem in this city. The Newcastle Herald writes that the average age for youth to get hooked on marijuana is 15 or 16. This figure was given by the Salvation Army who also notes that Newcastle lacks any real programmes for children addicted to cannabis.
p style="text-align: justify">Additionally, Newcastle has attracted some more unusual addictive substances. For instance, synthetic drugs that imitate speed have been causing an epidemic in the city according to ABC News. While these products are technically legal, the local government has tried to implement a temporary ban to put a stop to their spread.
Despite these efforts, the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre has found that the Newcastle-Hunter region, alongside Gosford and Wollongong, has the highest ambulance callout rates for drug overdoses outside of Sydney. As well as this, Cars Guide reports that about 15% of motorists randomly tested in Newcastle during the Christmas break of 2014/15 were driving with drugs in their system.
The Newcastle Solution for Alcohol
Before 2008, the city of Newcastle suffered under the highest rate of alcohol-linked violence in NSW. A series of serious incidents led the city to implement strict regulations on alcohol sales, severely limiting the hours in which it was available. According to Drink Tank, this has meant that non-domestic alcohol-related assaults are the lowest they've been in 14 years. There has also been a drastic reduction in pre-loading as well as binge drinking.
Critics have said that these new laws may have pushed excessive drinking and dangerous behaviour away from Newcastle's pubs and clubs. In 2014 the Newcastle Herald reported that the area still had the highest rate of risky drinking for males and the second highest for females within NSW. New awareness campaigns have been planned to tackle this issue however.
Drug and Alcohol Programmes in Newcastle
As well as regulations prohibiting or limiting drugs and alcohol, the NSW government runs a range of services aimed at helping people with addiction. For instance, the Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Office (MHDAO) runs a cannabis clinic in Newcastle providing interventions and treatment for those dependent on cannabis. They also fund a stimulant treatment programme located at Wesley Mission in Newcastle West.
The AIDS Council of NSW (ACON), funded by the NSW government, runs a needle and syringe program in Newcastle which provides free injecting equipment and offers advice for those seeking information about managing and dealing with their addiction. Users can also be referred to external services if necessary.
Other Options for Addicts in Newcastle
Although there are some private rehab clinics in Newcastle, these can be exorbitantly expensive even for those with health insurance. A better option is getting treatment in a country such as Thailand where the cost of living is so much cheaper. Serenity is a centre in the very North of Thailand which offers personal therapy at a fraction of the cost of what you will find in Newcastle and elsewhere in Australia.
These overseas clinics can also give you a sense of privacy not found locally. Even in a town like Newcastle, news travels fast which is bad for those who want their struggle with addiction to remain confidential. By choosing a rehab clinic in Thailand, you can say you are flying there on holiday and ensure your secret is safe. Flights from Sydney are about 12 hours, making this an easy journey to arrange. Simply catch the train there and hop on the plane. We will pick you up on arrival at Chiang Rai and whisk you away to start your recovery at our private rehab centre.