Ice Damage to Body

Effects of ICE on the Human Body

Articles, Australia, Education

Crystal methamphetamine, ice, now reigns as the most destructive drug in Australia. The purest of the methamphetamines, ice is more potent and addictive on the body and mind than other illicit drugs, and compromises the brain, causing users to engage in violence.

When ice is ingested by the human body, within 30 minutes the brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls pleasure from various stimuli such as alcohol, nicotine, food and sex. This process causes a sudden buzz which progresses to a euphoric high, that lasts between seven-to-24 hours.

At this point, addiction kicks in, as the pre-euphoric high can no longer be replicated, and users can only maintain the sense of pleasure through ongoing stimulation, or drug use, thereby creating addiction.

Ice acts on three centres of the brain compared to just one with most drugs, allowing users to become highly stimulated and more likely to experience a heart attack, as their heart pumps faster and the perception of their environment alters.

Ice users also produce an increased amount of serotonin which regulates sleep, mood and appetite. Worryingly, the drug also activates high release of noradrenalin, causing users to feel anxious, suspicious and at heightened risk of being aggressive and getting into fights.

Ultimately, treatment is highly recommended, for most users end up feeling depressed, as their normal production levels of dopamine wear out.

If you are facing an ice or any other form of drug addiction, help is available. DARA Thailand is the leading international destination for drug and alcohol rehabilitation and recovery in Asia. With a 92 per cent average program completion rate, DARA Thailand rehabilitation involves the mind and body, with treatments focusing on both the underlying issues resulting in drug and alcohol addiction, together with the physical and physiological aspects of addiction.

To learn more about DARA Thailand, head to contact a DARA therapist today, 24/7, for a free, confidential assessment via the following numbers:

Direct to Thailand +66-87-140-7788
Toll-free from United States 1-888-774-8459
Toll-free from United Kingdom 0333-122-9728
Toll-free from Australia 1-800-990-523

Ice Epidemic

Australian Government spending on ICE epidemic cure

Articles, Australia

In response to the current spate of drug-related deaths and the alarming growth of the nation’s crystal methylamphetamine, or ‘ice’ epidemic, the Australian government has awarded more than $300 million to reduce the abuse and harm of illicit drugs.

An unclassified report investigating methylamphetamine (‘meth’) in Australia by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) found of all illicit drugs, ice is currently the most dominant form of meth and therefore, poses the highest risk to the Australian community. [1] In addition, the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre discovered Australian deaths caused by injecting ice have increased by 52 per cent in the past decade. [2]

The rampant nature and scale of ice addiction in Australia, begs the question, what is the solution to this tragic epidemic?

Following the recent drug-induced death of 25 year-old, Sydney pharmacist, Sylvia Choi and a 19-year-old man, Stefan Woodward, both of whom took illicit drugs at local music festivals, the Federal Government has announced it will allocate more than $300 million to battle the ice epidemic threatening the lives of Australians.

This grant comes shortly after the Government awarded the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) more than $1 million to conduct Australia’s largest clinical trial of medical treatment for “ice” addiction to date.

In an interview reported by ABC News, the Australian Prime Minister, The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, cited “The responsibility for tackling this very complex problem can’t be left to the police alone.” [3]

Turnbull explained arresting addicts is not enough, and claimed the funding would be allocated to primary health networks.

“We believe that the medical and healthcare professionals who are closest to the people in need, are best able to determine how the money is spent.”

In an opinion piece published by The Border Mail, Sydney lawyer, Tim Dick claimed the Australian imprisonment rate had doubled in the past 30 years and there are currently 196 people in full-time custody for every 100,000 adult Australians. [4]

The government has recognised an integrated approach must be implemented, focusing on the treatment, intervention and prevention of harm as the main way to reduce drug addiction, rather than investing in the policing of addicts. [5]

In terms of how to solve the raging debate involving the ice epidemic gripping Australia, there may be no single solution. Goverment measures and heightened community awareness however, should help make substantial in-roads into curbing this social scourge.


[1] Australian Crime Commission 2015, ‘The Australian Methylamphetamine Market – The National Picture,’ vol.1, no.1, p.5,, accessed December 11, 2015

[2] Downey, M 2015, National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre, ‘Methamphetamine deaths increase across Australia and ice use jumps by 52 per cent among people who inject drugs,’, accessed December 11, 2015.

[3] Fogarty, S 2015, ‘Prime Minister announces $300m strategy to tackle ice addiction,’ ABC News, online, available at:, accessed December 11, 2015.

[4] Dick, T 2015, ‘Drug fight needs to focus on intervention,’ International Business Times, available at:, accessed on December 11, 2015.

[5] Acosta, D 2015, ‘Government allocates more than $300 million to combat ice addiction,’ International Business Times, available at:, accessed on December 11, 2015.


Drugs australia

Australian Government’s National Drug Strategy

Articles, Australia, International

Australian Government’s National Drug Strategy on illicit drug use shaped by regulation rather than modern forms of rehab – December 11, 2015

A United Nations (UN) 2015 report estimates around 246 million people world-wide aged between 15 and 64 use illicit drugs. Australia is awash with drugs, with 42 per cent of the nation’s adult population acknowledging drug use at some stage in their lives[1]; almost 15 per cent of whom used drugs between 2014-15.[2]

Illicit drug use not only impacts users, but also weighs heavily on the Australian public purse – an estimated $55.2 billion in 2004-05, including costs to the healthcare system, workplace productivity, road accidents and crime.[3]

Notably, tobacco use accounted for $31.5 billion, alcohol for $15.3 billion, and illegal drugs $8.2 billion, with alcohol and illicit drugs together accounting for an additional $1.1 billion.[4]

Since 1985, successive Australian Governments’ have regularly revised the National Drug Strategy, by predominantly focusing on harm minimisation, and the framework for such, including issues of demand, supply and harm reduction.

The demand reduction component of this framework has focused on preventing the uptake of, or delaying the use of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs used personally, within the community, and for helping individuals recover from their dependence, and reintegrate into society.

The supply reduction framework aims to prevent, stop, disrupt and reduce the production and supply of illegal drugs. The framework also touches on controlling, managing and regulating the availability of legal drugs.

The harm reduction framework incorporates strategies and actions designed to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences from an individual’s use of drugs, and their effects on the community.

While this framework has played a pivotal role in helping successive Australian Governments formulate their drug use policy, it fails to account for other, more modern and proven approaches operating successfully world-wide, such as at DARA, Thailand.

Australian Governments have been slow to acknowledge the rise in popularity of high quality, evidence-based, drug care treatment programs. With an average completion rate of 92 per cent and overall treatment rate of 52 per cent, DARA Thailand offers its clientele, a cost-effective customised treatment plan that includes multiple modalities of care to assist with rehabilitation.

Part of DARA Thailand’s unique offering to clientele, is its focus on teaching individuals how to relax and socialise again, without the aid of drugs and/or alcohol, in order to mount an an effective recovery from addiction. In particular, the DARA Koh Chang rehabilitation program focuses exclusively on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) treatment, combining physical, social, psychological and spiritual components through a variety of individual and group-oriented activities, to aid recovery.

To learn more about DARA Thailand, head to contact a DARA therapist today, 24/7, for a free, confidential assessment via the following numbers:

Direct to Thailand +66-87-140-7788
Toll-free from United States 1-888-774-8459
Toll-free from United Kingdom 0333-122-9728
Toll-free from Australia 1-800-990-523

[1] United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime. 2015. World Drug Report 2015 . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 December 15].

[2] United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime. 2015. World Drug Report 2015 . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 December 15].

[3] United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime. 2015. World Drug Report 2015 . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 December 15].

[4] National Drug Strategy (Accessed 2015) The Costs of Tobacco, Alcohol and Illicit Drug Abuse to Australian Society in 2004/05, Australian Government, Canberra

alcohol abuse on the rise

Alcohol Abuse on the Rise in Queensland Hospital

Articles, Australia

As the ice epidemic continues to dominate news headlines, the issue of alcohol facing the Queensland medical industry has reared its ugly head.

Patient alcohol abuse is the leading cause of nurses and allied hospital staff being punched, bashed and verbally abused, according to incident reports obtained by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) under the Right to Information during 2012 – 2015 from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospitals, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Gold Coast University Hospital, and Cairns Hospital.

Considered an ongoing issue, alcohol accounted for far greater hospital assaults than ice during the past three years.

In total, 2,695 hospital staff, including doctors, pharmacists and security officers, lodged formal claims of verbal, physical or other assault during this period,

Violent alcohol-fuelled crime cost the Australian public purse $1.7 billion between 2004-2005, while the social cost of alcohol-related violence tipped $187 million.

A 2007 National Drug Strategy Household survey revealed:

  • One-in-four Australians were a victim of alcohol-related abuse;
  • 13 per cent of Australians were intimidated by someone under the influence of alcohol; and
  • 5 per cent of Australians aged 14 years and over had been physically abused by someone under the influence of alcohol.

Overcoming alcohol abuse usually requires intervention in order to withdraw safely and comfortably from the addiction, while considering other health issues present and the length of the alcohol addiction.

DARA Thailand is one of the world’s most affordable, luxury rehabilitation centres, and Asia’s premier destination for addiction (drug, alcohol and gambling rehabilitation) treatment. Importantly, DARA’s treatment program has an extraordinary 92 per cent completion rate.

For assistance with alcohol addiction, or to learn more about DARA Thailand, head to contact a DARA therapist today, 24/7, for a free, confidential assessment via the following numbers:

Direct to Thailand +66-87-140-7788
Toll-free from United States 1-888-774-8459
Toll-free from United Kingdom 0333-122-9728
Toll-free from Australia 1-800-990-523

5 Questions To Ask about Overseas Addiction Rehab

Articles, Australia

5-Questions-Australians-Should-Ask-about-Overseas-Drug-Addiction-RehabMany Australians are considering overseas rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. Two major reasons for this are:

  • Difficulty getting finding an affordable treatment program in many parts of Australia
  • Unable to be admitted quickly, when someone finally asks for help

Many overseas programs are extremely inexpensive as compared to those in Australia, with a quick admission process. As the most highly regarded drug and alcohol treatment center in Asia, DARA has an expedited intake process and an all-inclusive program that is evidence-based and highly credentialed. Unfortunately, this is not true for all overseas rehab centres. DARA wants to make sure that Australians seeking this type of option have five solid questions to ask when evaluating a Thailand-based drug and alcohol rehab program.

The 5 Crucial Types of Questions to Ask Overseas Rehab Centres

Here are the five top questions we encourage you to ask.  Make a comparison between the centers you are considering. At DARA, we can assure you our quality of care is so superb, we are consistently one of the top ten rated facilities worldwide.

  1. Ask for a written copy of everything that falls under the phrase “all-inclusive”. It should include much more than just group treatment and lodging. Request a list of what out of pocket expenses to expect, including items you might not think about such as transportation to the center from the airport, laundry services, and sober outings expenses.
  2. What credentials does the facility have, and the staff? Do they include internationally recognized credentials?
  3. Does the clinical staff work and live and work full time in the overseas rehab country? This may sound like an odd question to ask, but there is a reason you must. Treatment centers in resort-like settings may provide a short-term working vacation in paradise to individuals with clinical treatment skills. This shows a lack of commitment to the the client’s best interests and does not offer the continuity of care that is so essential for success recovery. It also does not ensure that the therapist has the skills needed to treat the variety of individuals who come for help with an addiction.
  4. Are there aftercare and discharge planning services? One concern many Australians have is after finishing treatment in Thailand will resources and support will be waiting for them back home. Not all overseas rehab centers offer this service to the high degree that DARA provides.
  5. Ask them to describe their mix of group therapy and individual therapy. How customized is it to the needs of the client? Will you be forced to fit into a rigid program that may not see you as a unique person with a unique history? Will you be helped with any associated issues such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress issues?

Still not sure where to start or whether coming from Australia to an overseas rehab is the best and most affordable option? DARA is happy to clarify your concerns and questions. You’ll be connected directly with a clinical staff member who understands your fears about not being able to receive the right kind of care now when you are ready for it. DARA assures you that it can be both affordable and of the highest quality.

If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction,
contact us at 1-888-457-3518 US, 0-808-120-3633 UK or 1-800-990-523 AU.
We’re here to help you take that first important step.