Thanks to its excellent beaches and weather, the Sunshine Coast attracts all sorts of people. Unfortunately, this has led to numerous drug and alcohol problems with recent spikes in methamphetamine use plus several high-profile drug busts occurring. There is also some work to do in combating issues of addiction stemming from binge drinking and illicit substance use that takes place locally.
Each year, the Sunshine Coastís drug problem is worsening. The Sunshine Coast Daily reports that 4,226 drug offences occurred throughout the region. This includes 23 charges of trafficking, 175 arrests for drug production and 126 supply offences. Possession accounted for 1,857 offences, a figure which has increased over the past three years.
Taking drugs and driving also seems to be a major issue on. The Sunshine Coast Daily said that police detected 18 drivers who had taken drugs from a total of 41 random tests taken in Kawana. Most were construction workers – the main target of police. This ratio is far higher than the state average of 1 to 9.
There were also two major drug busts in 2015. The first saw 15 people charged and 15 properties searched. The bust was run by the Queensland Police Service and lasted for about nine months with large quantities of methyl amphetamines, cannabis and stolen property seized. ABC News writes that a second operation disrupted a drug network operating across Southeast Queensland. Ice was the primary drug with 2.5 kilograms of the substance seized. Cannabis, weapons and drug money were also allegedly confiscated.
Finally, there are also networks distributing lesser known drugs throughout the Sunshine Coast. The ABC News says another police operation uncovered a major steroid network operating through several local supplement stores under the supervision of the criminal motorcycle gang, Lone Wolf. Approximately 3,000 steroid capsules, over 100 bottles of steroids and six grams of cocaine were seized.
Alcohol abuse is also a major problem on the Sunshine Coast. In fact, the latest figures predict that approximately 21,400 locals experience alcohol-related physical abuse every year according to the Sunshine Coast Daily. This story says that 8.1% of residents over 14 were physically abused by someone intoxicated, 25% were verbally abused, while 15% were put in fear. Research also shows that 18.1% of Sunshine Coast locals consume alcohol at risky levels. As a result, the Caboolture Regional Domestic Violence Service has encouraged people to abstain from booze, writes Caboolture News.
Finally, Fiona Simpson, Member for Maroochydore, mentioned the high levels of alcohol consumption in the region. From 2008 to 2012, 29 out of 126 fatalities on the Sunshine Coast were alcohol-related. On average, the Queensland Police Service conducts about 20,000 breath tests per month with more than 110 people driving while over the BAC limit.
The Sunshine Coast Daily writes that there are no government-funded rehab centres anywhere in the region. This makes it difficult for those trying to get sober to seek the assistance they require. Sufferers must first detox before they can be accepted into a locally-based private programme: a requirement which is almost impossible for those dependent on these substances.
One option for those seeking government help is the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Service (ATODS) run from Nambour Community Health Centre. This is for those with any kind of drug/alcohol dependence issues. There is also the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS), a 24-hour hotline available for those who need information, advice and treatment for issues with addiction.
Limited options for treatment mean that those suffering from addiction generally have to seek assistance elsewhere. To avoid long waiting lists at public facilities and the excessive costs of private centres, we recommend looking to countries like Thailand for rehab support. These nations have a lower cost of living which means you can get international levels of care at a private rehab clinic such as Serenity without having to spend an absolute fortune.
Being treated in Thailand also offers greater confidentiality. All over the Sunshine Coast, towns can seem very small especially for those hiding their battle with drugs and alcohol. Instead of risking being treated locally, hop on the plane and start your journey to recovery. From Sunshine Coast Airport, flights to Koh Samui take about 20 hours with transfers in Brisbane, Sydney, Bangkok or Singapore. We will be there to pick you up on arrival and take you to our secluded rehab facilities!