Nestled in the heart of the Darling Downs, the beautiful Garden City has some underlying problems with drugs and alcohol. Small-scale drug use is prevalent amongst the locals with the occasional major drug bust accomplished by the police. There are also some dangers due to excessive drinking in Toowoomba. As it is a rural town, there aren’t too many public facilities available for those wanting to break out of this vicious cycle.
Due to demand within the local population, police in Toowoomba have made several drug busts over the past few years. The Brisbane Times writes about three that took place solely in March 2015. Two men were caught with 12 grams of ice in a local hotel, a man was arrested with 6 grams of speed found in his car, and 27 grams of ice and $8,000 in cash was found in a property raid.
Toowoomba has other, more unusual drug issues too. For instance, The Chroniclesays that illegal steroid trafficking is undeniable within the city. Police foiled a major supply chain, uncovering over 920 vials and 1,850 tablets of steroids alongside 43 bottles of prescription medicines within a local storage shed.
There have been several high profile drug cases in Toowoomba as well. One is found in The Morning Bulletin and involved a local nurse who overdosed on the painkiller, Fentanyl. She had visited 30 different doctors and had been issued with 71 prescriptions of oxycodone, another painkiller. A second was reported in the Courier Mail and involved two famous rugby league players caught within a major cocaine trafficking operation.
While there is excessive drinking in Toowoomba, the damage seems to result mostly in low-level crimes. For instance, The Chronicle reported a break-and-enter by a group of teenagers who tried to steal alcohol from a local tavern. The owner defended his property and was injured in the attack while the thieves got away with a few bottles of liquor.
Drink driving also seems to be an issue. Some instances are fatal with The Chronicle writing about a man who died in a car crash while under the influence. Other instances can be quite humorous. One example is also found in The Chronicle and involves a tradesman getting caught twice for drink driving in the same night.
Finally, excessive drinking can lead to some minor annoyances for those living in Toowoomba. Another article in The Chronicle mentions a local man who pleaded guilty to 12 alcohol-related offences. These included exposing himself in the car park of a major shopping centre and attempting to drive while over the limit.
As it is a rural location, Toowoomba doesn’t have too many publicly-funded alternatives for those who want treatment for substance abuse or dependence. Toowoomba Hospital offers Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Services (ATODS) which include assessment, treatment, follow-ups and education about all kinds of legal and illegal substances including cannabis, opioids and amphetamines.
There are also a number of Needle and Syringe Programs in Toowoomba. One is found at the above-mentioned Toowoomba Hospital. There is also a needle dispensing machine at Toowoomba Sexual Health on Peachy Street. These offer a clean, hygienic option for those addicted to certain types of injected drugs.
Finally, the Lives Lived Well program on Neil Street offers alcohol and drug counselling for indigenous and non-indigenous Australians plus is a base for the Queensland Illicit Drug Diversion Initiative. The centre also offers community outreach programs, youth outreach programs, and prison & drug court programs.
For locals who don’t want to enter the public health system but who are unable to afford the private clinics in Toowoomba, we would recommend seeking help overseas. Siam Rehab is located in Chiang Rai, Thailand where the cost of living is far lower than in Australia. Thus, the price of therapy here is far more affordable as well even including the price of the plane ticket. We still offer international standards of care despite the lower rates for therapy.
Thailand is also a great chance to get treated for addiction in a completely confidential environment where no one else knows you. We offer recovery amidst complete privacy within our secluded premises. Flights from Brisbane Airport take 11 or 12 hours with coaches from Toowoomba dropping you off at the departures area. We will pick you up when you arrive at Chiang Rai Airport, making your journey here so much simpler.