What is it like to be 16 and addicted to ice?

Adam was just 16 the first time he tried ice. He got it off a friend’s mum. Here, he tells his story about what it was like.

CANBERRA teenager Adam* has just returned to school after spending two years addicted to ice.


I REMEMBER the first time I took ice. When I was 16, at my friend’s house and I was using MDMA when we ran out. Everyone knew his mum and his mum’s boyfriend had ice so I asked to buy some off them and, um, I bought a point and put it in a pipe and smoked it all.

That was it. I was hooked.

It’s hard to describe being on ice for the first time. You get hot, you shake and it gives you heaps of confidence. I’m more confident being on it.

I mean, I was. Things started to unravel from there.

I started sneaking out of my house to go to my mates to smoke it. Then I stopped going to school. I left home. I started doing crimes, to get money, to get more ice. Going through cars, stealing, aggravated robberies.

It got bad. It got really bad. I’ve done some dumb things. Things I regret. Things that like, if I think about myself when I was 12 years old, I’d never have thought I would have done that.

I got locked up, that’s how I decided to go to rehab. I made the call when I was in juvenile detention.

At first it wasn’t for the reason you’d think. When you’re on ice and you’re living on the street you don’t eat, you don’t have a roof over your head and stuff.

Sometimes it’s good just to be in rehab and be able to eat and sleep. I never really went there to think I want to get off drugs it was more like a vacation. A roof over my head.

When you’re there and you get sober things get clearer. I wanted to get my life back on track. I got a job. It was really good. For a while.

I was an apprentice mechanic. So I started making money and hanging with my old friends. I was easily influenced and fell back into drugs.

I was staying up three nights in a row and going to work. Some days I just wouldn’t show up. I got fired so I went back to rehab.

I don’t really have any friends. Because I don’t want to hang out with anyone I used to know, I know to stay off drugs I can’t see them.

Someone asked me the other day who the closest person is to me and I said I didn’t know. I guess my mum. I’ve only just moved back home.

I hope to make new friends when I go to school.

I’m 18 and five months clean from everything. I got off weed and off ice, I don’t drink alcohol or anything. I’m completely sober. I’m going back to school next week.

It’s really exciting. I want to make my mum proud.

When you’re at school you don’t really like it but when you’ve had a good break from it you realise school is probably the best thing. You’ve got friends there and stuff.

To other 16-year-old boys even thinking of trying ice — if you try it once you’ll get hooked and it’s really hard to get out of it.

If you or anyone you know needs help, please call Family Drug Support Australia on 1300 368 186.

*Adam’s name has been changed for privacy reasons.



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