GOLD COAST DRUG COUNCIL INC
Hugs Not Drugs 2007/08
Table of Contents
Gold Coast Drug Council Inc 2
Who We Are 3
What We Do 4
Service Snap-Shot 2006-07 5
Gold Coast Drug Council Inc Board of Directors 2007 7
Gold Coast Drug Council Inc Team 8-9
Mary Celebrates 20 Years of Service 10
Mirikai Therapeutic Community Program 11
Youth Outreach Program 12
Family Support Program 13
The Young Families Support Program 14
Family & Friends Support Group 15
Youth Dual Diagnosis Support Program 16
Other Programs 17
Art & Drama 18
Stop Pot 20
Stop Pot Client Stories 21
Volunteering at Gold Coast Drug Council Inc 22
Other Gold Coast Services 23
Live & Aware 24
Remembrance Garden Launch 26
Adeleʼs Story 27
Getting to Know some of the Gold Coast Drug Council Inc Team 29
The Mental Health First Aid Course 31
Australia Takes to Ice 32
Drugs and Driving Donʼt Mix 33
What Drugs are Doing to Your Body 34
A Parentʼs Story 36
Residentʼs Corner 37-38
How to contact the Gold Coast Drug Council Inc:
Address: 191 West Burleigh Rd
Burleigh Heads, Qld 4220
Postal Address: PO Box 2655
Burleigh Mail Centre, Qld 4220
Phone: 07 5535 4302 or 1300 550 016
Fax: 07 5576 2512
Hugs Not Drugs 1
Drug Council Inc
Our Vision Statement
Gold Coast Drug Council is working towards an inclusive community in which
persons with drug and/or mental health issues are treated with respect and
understanding and are supported to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.
Our Mission Statement
To be leaders in the development and provision of caring, responsive and high quality
drug and alcohol programs, based on the bio/psycho/social model and utilising
processes of prevention, early intervention and specialised treatment, that effectively
promote well-being, health and harm minimisation for those experiencing interpersonal
and social functioning problems related to drug use.
To utilise prevention, early intervention and specialised treatment in order to minimise the harm related to the use of licit and
illicit drugs within the Gold Coast Region.
We believe that the reasons for drug use are both social and psychological. Therefore the Mirikai program has been designed
to incorporate flexibility so that we can best meet the problems and progress of the individual resident.
We strongly believe in consumer and community participation. We believe that the consumers both primary and secondary
should be involved in the development, design and evaluation of the program for all clients. Because we are ultimately
responsible to the community, we will use all avenues available to us to facilitate community participation in the conduct of our
Our programs can assist our target group to strengthen their decision to stop taking their drug(s) of dependence, and to deal
with the underlying reasons for drug use. Our programs offer clients practical skills that can help their behaviour to become
more self-regulatory, and enhance their choices in making major lifestyle changes in order to minimise the harm of their drug(s)
2 Hugs Not Drugs
HE Gold Coast Drug Council Inc. had its beginnings as a voluntary organisation known as the Drug Referral Centre. It
was established in 1971 as the first alcohol and drug service on the Gold Coast. In 1981 land was granted by the Gold
Coast City Council at 191 West Burleigh Road to establish a centre for education, prevention, assessment, referral and
detoxification – this was called Mirikai (or “place of peace”) In the 1980s the Gold Coast Drug Council focused on developing
professional standards for treatment and education and in 1987 adopted a Therapeutic Community approach to treatment
services for young people.
Since that time the organisation has developed community services which assist young people and their families. These
services include residential services and a wide range of out-client services supported by both state and federal funding.
Thank you to Robbie Phillips for allowing
us to use his artwork as a cover design.
... “the mask represented a time in my
recovery where I felt it was all too much, like
everyone was throwing their crap at me and
when they threw it, it just stuck to me. My
way of dealing with it was to throw plenty of
paint at my mask which represented me and
in a way I felt better. This was a positive way
of releasing my frustrations and anger. One
of the many ways Mirikai has helped me to
understand myself and my addiction.”
Hugs Not Drugs 3
N addition to the • Outreach Accommodation Support
Mirikai (“place of and Integrated Services (OASIS)
peace”) Therapeutic • Drug Court Programme
Community Program, • Drug Court Supported
we offer a growing Accommodation Program (MISO)
number of programs,
such the Personal Outclient Programs
Support Program (PSP), • Personal Support Program (PSP)
Drug Court, QIDDI, • Drug Court Outclient Program
Youth Outreach service, • Queensland Illicit Drug Diversion
Family Therapy service Initiative (QIDDI)
and OASIS supported • Youth Outreach Program
accommodation • Drama, Rhythm, Art, Self-Therapy,
programme. In recent Inspired, Creation Program
years we have (DRASTIC)
developed a specialist • Young Families Support Program
clinical team to manage • Youth Dual Diagnosis Support
and treat clients with Program
both addictions and mental health disorders (referred to as • Family Therapy Program
“dual diagnosis”). We continue to review and develop our
services to meet new needs. Out-client Services
The Gold Coast Drug Council also provides a 24 hour • Family & Friends Support Group
telephone information and referral service for people • Earlybirds Support Group
wanting assistance to address drug-related problems. We • Stop Pot
handle thousands of telephone calls and enquiries each year. • Supervised Urinary Testing (UT)
The Gold Coast Drug Council has been quality accredited Health Education
by the Institute of Healthy Communities Association since • Drug Awareness Course
• Promoting Health
We are proud to work in partnership with many local, state
and federal organisations and agencies. Locally, we are How to Access our Services
active members of the Youth at Risk Alliance, District To access any of these services or for more information,
Health Council and Regional Ministerial Community please call our Telephone Advice Worker on (07) 5535 4302
Forum. We also work closely with the local Universities; between 8am–6pm Monday to Friday or e-mail
other community organisations and government agencies to email@example.com
support and improve services for people on the Gold Coast.
Our Advice Worker will be able to discuss your personal
At a national level we are an active member of the circumstances with you and provide information on the
Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA). services available at the Gold Coast Drug Council. If we are
unable to provide the services you are looking for our
Advice Worker will refer you to other organisations which
These include: may be able to help.
• Mirikai Therapeutic Community Programme
4 Hugs Not Drugs
HE Gold Coast Drug Council (GCDC) has been a
dynamic organisation in terms of growth in the past
10 years – and this was no different in 2006-07. The
focus of the organisation has continued to move towards the
delivery of specialist treatment to meet the needs of
comorbid clients – those with both an addiction and mental
health problem. As drug use trends shift further towards
amphetamine type substances, marijuana and alcohol, and as Mary Alcorn.
we become recognized as a specialist treatment provider in
this area – comorbid referrals continue to grow.
financial processes and internal control mechanisms are
I would like to acknowledge the role that Professor Phillip strong and in place as a foundation for continued growth.
Morris – as our Medical Director – continues to play in the
development of our dual diagnosis expertise. We would also Following many years of chronic underfunding for
like to heartily welcome Dr Bruce Whelan who has joined Mirikai – the residential program – in the face of escalating
the medical team this year – and who has allowed us to costs, and the recognition that this position was
expand our on site medical capacity. Gloria Barret – as a unsustainable into the future, negotiations with Qld Health
highly qualified Mental Health Nurse; and Michael Lerner – have resulted in some additional one off payments, and the
as the Dual Diagnosis Co-ordinator have also recently joined promise of increased recurrent funding in the future. We
us, as highly valued members of the Medical Team. We certainly hope that this will be the case.
have also been pleased to received Chronic Diseases funding Other recent service developments during the previous
from Qld Health enabling us to employ a qualified year have included expansion in the number of Personal
psychologist to add to the capacity of the dual diagnosis Support Program places; and expansion of QIDDI services
treatment team. As the development of specialist dual to cover weekend appointments, in order to better meet
diagnosis expertise by drug and alcohol agencies becomes clients’ needs. We have secured a years funding for the
more widely accepted by governments, there are funding DRASTIC art and drama program in conjunction with Dept.
opportunities becoming available to expand capacity in this Juvenile Justice; and received funding for a part-time Family
area - which we will of course continue to try and access in Support Program worker – to work with parents (of young
order to sustain and enhance service delivery. children) who suffer from drug misuse problems.
We were pleased to receive capacity building funding in
We continue to offer services from both West Burleigh and
2006 from the Alcohol Education & Rehabilitation
Southport locations, and are proud of the expanded coverage
Foundation (AERF) for the building of management
across the coast this provides for our clients. With continued
capacity, and financial management capacity projects. This
growth, space to accommodate all the programs is always an
funding has been utilized to provide leadership and
management training to new management personnel, to issue, and we plan to be taking on leased premises in West
assist them to manage the change process which has arisen Burleigh in the very near future, in order to be able to
as a result of the continued rapid growth of the organisation. manage this.
Part of this training involved the development of a set of The organisation remains committed as ever to Quality
core values for the organisation of which we are very proud. Improvement, in fact, we have just successfully undergone
The funding also facilitated a financial review to ensure that our third review for accreditation in September this year.
Hugs Not Drugs 5
The Institute of Healthy Communities continues to raise the Councillor for Burleigh. These individuals work tirelessly
bar at each review, and as we continue to develop specialist to support the health and welfare sector and champion the
expertise in comorbidity our goal for the future is to be cause of the Gold Coast Drug Council.
reviewed against Mental Health Standards. My thanks and appreciation also go to the staff,
The Gold Coast Drug Council has continued to take an volunteers, and the Board of the Gold Coast Drug Council
active partnership role in local community affairs being an Inc. for their continuing commitment to the organisation
active member of key collaborations such as the Youth at and its goals.
Risk Alliance, District Health Council and SEQ South
Thanks go to the funding bodies who continue to support
Regional Ministerial Community Forum. I am also
our service delivery including Qld Health; Dept. Housing;
extremely proud to have been active in the development of
Dept. Communities; Dept. Employment & Training; Dept.
QNADA – the Queensland Network of Drug & Alcohol
Health & Ageing; and Dept. Employment & Workplace
Agencies – and have been elected to the inaugural board.
Our participation in these wider roles highlights the
importance we place on partnerships, and working to Looking ahead, 2007-2008, is a year for Gold Coast Drug
improve the overall health and welfare of the broader Council to build on its strong foundation and seek to attract
community. higher levels of recurrent funding in order to build a more
sustainable future for the organisation. For many years now
A particular highlight of the year for me was the official
the organisation has faced a significant challenge to be able
opening of the Mirikai Remembrance Garden. This
to provide such a wide range of high quality service delivery
beautiful and peaceful space (which was developed from the
ideas and donations of parents) is dedicated to the memories with a chronic shortage of funds – we sincerely hope that we
of loved ones that we have lost, and the official opening was do not have to face this challenge again in the year ahead.
a particularly beautiful and poignant event. Finally I would like to recognize the courage and
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who commitment of all our clients; their familes and friends; and
gave donations and grants to the organisation in the last year, wish them well on their road to recovery.
and to thank our local Councillors and MPs – in particular Mary Alcorn
Christine Smith MP, Member for Burleigh, and Greg Betts, Executive Director
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6 Hugs Not Drugs
Gold Coast Drug Council Inc
Board Directors 2007
PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT TREASURER SECRETARY
Sean Cousins Sandra Hall Joan Gray Andrew Moloney
Sean Cousins is a local Sandra is a registered Joan has been the Andrew is a Gold Coast
Barrister, and has nurse and holds the treasurer of Gold Coast Solicitor who is a Qld
practiced on the Gold position of Director of Drug Council Inc for Law Society accredited
Coast since 1987. Community Health and over 20 years. Joan specialist in Criminal
Sean is now in his 11th Nursing in the Gold was previously a Law. Andrew has had a
year as Chairman of Coast District Health successful business 13-year association
the Board of Directors Services. woman and is valuable with Mirikai.
to the Board.
BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER BOARD MEMBER
Ivor Shaw Robert Smith Bruce Flemming Peita Melville
Ivor brings a wealth of Robert acts as a Bruce previously held Peita acts as a
experience to the parentʼs representative the position of residentʼs representative
Board having worked in on the Gold Coast chiarman and Board and has two young
the drug and alcohol Drug Council Board. Member of Silky Oaks, children. Peita is a past
sector for over 25 Robert has been in the Child Youth & Family resident of Gold Coast
years. banking industry for Care for a period of 20 Drug Council Inc and is
over 28 years. years. currently completing
her degree in medicine.
Hugs Not Drugs 7
the Gold Coast Drug
Adele Pavlidis Andrew Dibb Calinda Payne Chris Shave
Volunteer Co-ordinator and Drug & Alcohol Worker Dual Diagnosis Psychologist TC Counsellor
Drug & Alcohol Worker
Genai Olsen George Patriki Gloria Barrett Grant Robin
Registered Nurse Personal Support Worker Registered Nurse Outreach Services Coordinator
Jennifer Dumaresq Jillian Zietsch Jo Cardamone Julie Dignan
TC Counsellor Administrator Receptionist Senior Administrator
Kylee Block Louise Pennant Mary Alcorn Matt McGregor
Receptionist Consultant Psychologist Executive Director Family Therapist
Nathaniel Martin Peter Mark Sari Engelberg Shaun Bergoff
OASIS Coordinator Personal Support Counsellor Welfare Officer Drug & Alcohol Worker TC
Vicky Raabe Wendy Saw Catherine Flynn Ljudmila Battly
TC Counsellor Personal Support Worker Young Families Support Program Drug and Alcohol Worker
8 Hugs Not Drugs
Colleen McGregor Daniel Baddiley Doug Lister Dr Bruce Whelan
Life Skills Educator Drug & Alcohol Worker Finance & IM&T Manager
James McGregor Jan Savvas Janet Rutter Jeff Coucill
Quality Manager Personal Support Worker Personal Support Worker Quiddi Co-ordinator
Julianne Parry Kim Solberg Kristina Mamic Michael Lerner
Clinical Co-ordinator Drug & Alcohol Worker Drug Court Program Worker Dual Diagnosis Co-ordinator
Murray Booth Murray Sutton Nathan Gaunt Tracey Anderson
Maintenance Therapeutic Community Co-ordinator Maintenance Youth Counsellor
Tricia Wood Verena Taufer Anna Sullivan
Administration Assistant Catering Manager Personal Assistant to
team Hugs Not Drugs 9
20 years of
007 is a special year for Mirikai because it is the 20th
anniversary of Mary Alcorn’s commencement with the
Gold Coast Drug Council. As GCDC executive
director Mary has contributed a huge amount to a myriad of
people’s lives – young people, their families and the
community. Since May 21, 1987 she has worked tirelessly to
develop the services provided by Mirikai today. In the last
two decades thousands of young people with serious drug
problems and mental health issues have come into contact
with Mary. She has touched many people’s lives in a reasons for this, were the commitment to fostering
profoundly positive way. Through her vision and participation of clients in their care and progress and
commitment to support young people in need of support, secondly the involvement of clients in developing the
Mirikai and the Gold Coast Drug Council have been able to program. These two wonderful commitments are hardwired
grow and continue the excellent work in that area. Young in Mary’s character.
people are the future, but because of Mirikai, Mary Alcorn,
Running a rehab for young people is not everyone’s
the staff and volunteers, a lot of young people have a more
calling. But it must be said after 20 years it must be Mary’s.
She has a blend of special qualities such as leadership, good
Mary began working as a nurse in 1968 before starting judgement, compassion, faith, determination, shrewdness
work in community services and moving to the Gold Coast. and amiability. The drug and alcohol field has changed a
The original building at Mirikai in West Burleigh was built great deal in the past 20 years and under Mary’s leadership
in 1981 but Mary’s involvement in 1987 saw the services Mirikai and the GCDC have been able to adapt and innovate.
rapidly expand to meet demand. The residential program’s A high level of involvement with the Mirikai residents, with
capacity has grown from 12 to 40 residents, staffing has the community and with health promotions activities has
increased and the facilities have been extended and been essential for this. The drug awareness course is one
upgraded. Through her constant advocacy for young people
such innovation that is slowly but surely fostering
and intense lobbying of government the GCDC has had an
understanding in the community. Another example was
increase of funding from $30,000 to $3 million dollars. Her
Mary’s contribution to the drug court pilot that helps
commitment to supporting improve the lives of young
nonviolent drug offenders stay out of jail and breaks the
people with drug and mental health problems on the Gold
cycle of addiction and crime. The pilot was successful and is
Coast has been recognised and acknowledged widely across
now legislated and operating at Mirikai.
Australia. In 2000 she was awarded the centenary medal by
Prime Minister John Howard for distinguished services to Congratulations and well done Mary.
the drug and alcohol field. In 2001 the GCDC therapeutic Mary’s vision has been to improve the lives of the young
community was accredited for three years. Two standout people who have sought Mirikai’s services.
10 Hugs Not Drugs
Therapeutic Community Program
IRIKAI, local Aboriginal meaning “a place of community through one of the commitment houses lasts
peace” is a specialist alcohol and other drug around six months, depending on the individual. For clients
treatment program that works on a Therapeutic with a dual diagnosis, tailored educational and social
Community model. Its goal is to enhance the capacity and activity programs have been developed to support them
commitment of clients to achieve, as well as maintain an through the program.
optimal level of personal and social functioning free from
harmful drug use. Mirikai’s goal is to assist residents to Program Stages
achieve and maintain a personally satisfying and socially Assessment and Admission – during the first three weeks
responsible lifestyle free from harmful drug use. after arrival, all residents will be thoroughly assessed. This
includes examination by a medical practitioner, with
residents requiring detox placed in a appropriate and safe
Clients are aged 18-29 years old and have complex setting. The program works closely with other services such
problems associated with their drug use, including mental as mental health services, dentists, sexual health services,
health problems. Clients can be referred from health, welfare
hospitals, Centrelink and legal services to meet each
and community organisations, or they may self-refer. The
individual’s specific needs.
maximum number of residents at any one time is 40.
Safety Net – this is a six-week intensive living and life
Application for admission can be made in person or by
skills program consisting of basic health and hygiene, self-
phoning our Receptionist / Advice Worker on (07) 5535
4302. Suitable applicants will undergo a comprehensive esteem, anger management, communication skills, relapse
assessment by one of our clinical staff. prevention, stress management, therapy and sports program.
Treatment – During this stage of the program, 6 to 8
How? weeks, there is a strong emphasis on teamwork and
Length of the Program developing the ability to trust others. Residents learn how to
This is a residential program with each stage taking have positive relationships and to change their belief
between six to eight weeks to complete. Successful systems. They begin to learn how to be responsible for their
completion of each stage is a necessary pre-requisite for actions by helping other people, and maintaining the daily
progress onto the next. The last stage, re-entry to the running of the program.
Hugs Not Drugs 11
Re-entry – in this stage, there is an emphasis on work running of the program.
based future planning. Residents live in a commitment
house (supported accommodation), to test these newfound Where?
skills before moving back into the community. The Mirikai Therapeutic Community is based at 191 West
Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads, Qld.
Rules of the Mirikai Therapeutic Community
In order for the Therapeutic Community to function, there Cost?
needs to be structure and rules that all residents agree to live Residents are expected to contribute some of their
by. While these might seem overwhelming at first, people Centrelink benefit towards the cost of the program. The
entering the community soon come to realise the balance comes from Queensland Department of Health,
importance of having clear guidelines for the day-to-day community grants and private donations.
Youth Outreach Program
HIS program promotes the well-being and health of Clients should phone our Receptionist/Advice Worker on
young people who are experiencing interpersonal and 07 5535 4302 to make enquiries about accessing the service.
social functioning problems related to drug use.
Who? The service includes counselling, psycho-education and
Clients are aged 12 to 25, at risk of misusing drugs, arts-based therapeutic groups, all within a harm-
experimenting or may already be addicted. Clients can be minimisation model. It provides early interventions eg.
referred from a range of sources, including health, welfare, anger management, problem solving, goal-setting and stress
community organisations, youth organisations/networks or management) and psycho-education for young people
they or their families/friends may self-refer. around alcohol and drug mis-use. The Program also
embraces a solution orientation, where a young person’s
strengths are recognised and encouraged. One-on-one
counselling by an experienced Youth Counsellor is
conducted on a weekly or fortnightly basis dependent on the
needs of clients. For some clients, arts-based group activity
is also available to meet their particular needs. Cliewnts can
also be referred to the DRASTIC Program which is about
young people exploring their identity, their friendship, their
environment and their world and sharing it with the wider
The Youth Out-Reach Program is based at the Gold Coast
Drug Council, 191 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads,
This program is free of charge to clients. The Program is
funded by the Australian Department of Health & Ageing as
part of the National Illicit Drug Strategy (NIDS)
12 Hugs Not Drugs
Family Support Program
HE Family Support Program assists family members, understanding and wisdom of others who have similar
couples and partners as well as friends of young concerns or are experiencing similar problems.
people with alcohol and drug-related problems.
The aim of the Family Support Program is two-fold: to
help the clients support the troubled young person and to The Family Support Program is based at the Gold Coast
assist clients in self-care. The service offers individual, Drug Council, 191 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads,
couple, family and group counseling sessions, and a support Qld.
This program is free of charge to clients. The Program is
The majority of clients are parents, partners or friends funded by the Australian Department of Health & Ageing as
looking for information and support to help them assist their
part of the National Illicit Drug Strategy (NIDS).
family member or friend. Clients can be referred from a
range of sources, including health, welfare and community
organisations, or they may self-refer.
Clients should phone our Receptionist/ Advice Worker on
(07) 5535 4302 to make enquiries about accessing the
The number of counseling sessions conducted is decided
by the client(s) and the Family therapist. The Family
Therapist will see individuals, couples or family groups at
these sessions. Clients can also attend the weekly Family
and Friends Support Group. This group provides families
and friends with support, encouragement and the FREE
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Hugs Not Drugs 13
The Young Families
HE Young Families Support Program is funded by the Dept Communities under
Referral for Active Intervention Funding. This program is targeted towards
families with young children, where parents have drug and alcohol problems.
Some clients will be referred by the Dept Child Safety for a “Referral for Active
Intervention” service, but the service is also open to other individuals in the target group.
The Young Family Support Program will provide assessment, individualised treatment
and support; referral to more specialised services if required (including mental health
services); and group education/support designed specifically to meet their needs. Group
education will be designed to empower the family, improve their emotional health and
understanding about drugs, and enable them to play a pivotal role in strengthening their Catherine Flynn
Young Families Support
family unit. The service is designed to provide the treatment required by each individual Program Co-ordinator
parent, tailored to their specific needs, and a group program for both parents to attend
together to better understand how to manage their addiction in the family setting to
reduce the impact these problems have on their families.
The group Education program will draw on the principles of the Strengthening Families
Program. Evaluations of the program have demonstrated that the program is robust and
effective in increasing assets and protective factors by improving family relationships,
parenting skills and improving life skills. It is expeced that GCDC will work closely with
Domestic Violence Service, who have also received RAI funding, and the Abused Child
Trust, who is managing referrals for the program from Dept Child Safety. For any
enquiries or bookings for this program please contact Reception on
Q.B.S.A. Lic. No. 073002
Domestic • Commercial • Industrial
Telephone (07) 4159 2225
Facsimile: (07) 4159 1810
Mobile 0418 798 335
14 Hugs Not Drugs
Family & Friends
eekly Family & Friends Support Groups – for parents, family members, and
partners, of individuals with a substance abuse issue. This group provides
family members with support, encouragement and the understanding and
wisdom of others who have similar concerns and are experiencing similar problems.
It is aimed at assisting families to develop more effective coping strategies, and being
able to respond to the needs and behaviours of their family member with a substance
The program empowers family members to become part of the recovery process, and
to identify what is their role, and the part they can play to most effectively help their loved
one to manage the symptoms and behaviours of their illness.
The group assists families to increase positive interactions within the family, and
allows them to become truly and consistently supportive. Sue Koningen
The objectives of the group are to:
• increase awareness and understanding of individual and collective issues;
• Improve skills such as communication and problem solving in order to improve
family functioning, and assist families to develop more effective relationships;
• Improve the emotional health and wellbeing of family members;
• Improve capacity for family involvement in treatment planning;
• Increase resilience and optimism;
• Offer social support which comes from participation in a group with shared
understanding and similar experiences,
• Give families hope that they can become part of the recovery process; that they have a
role to play; that they can overcome their fear and despair to bring joy back into their
lives and that recovery is possible.
The group facilitator, Sue Koningen, has personal experience as a family member of an
individual in crisis. Sue recognised the need for family members to address their own
personal issues and feelings that arise when a crisis of addiction of mental illness occurs
within a family. For the past 15 years Sue has worked with families, driven by her own
experience and need for answers. She began by facilitating support groups as a response
to the realisation that carers experiences were similar, and that it was better when they
were shared with others.
For any enquiries or bookings for this program please contact Reception on 5535 4302.
Hugs Not Drugs 15
Youth Dual Diagnosis
HIS program supports young people who have strained family relationships; homelessness; poor
substance abuse and mental health problems (known motivation; loss of support networks; and legal and financial
as “dual diagnosis”). The term “dual diagnosis” or difficulties.
“co-morbidity” is used to identify people who have
problematic substance use and at the same time a mental Who?
health problem. Clients are aged 12 to 25, and for a variety of reasons often
The problems associated with each condition on their own find it difficult to access the mainstream psychiatric, alcohol
are overshadowed when they co-exist. This interaction can or drug services. Clients can be referred from a range of
lead to significant social problems; difficulties with daily sources, including health, welfare, community
living activities, worsening of mental and physical health; organisations, youth organisations and networks, or they or
their families/friends may self-refer.
Clients should phone our Receptionist/Advice Worker on
07 5535 4302 to make enquiries about accessing the service.
A clinician will conduct an initial and comprehensive
asessment of the client’s level of problematic drug use and
A U ST R A L I A N their current mental state. The client will then be formally
assessed by a Specialist, to prescribe medication if needed.
S H O OT I N G The clinician will often work with other agencies relevant to
ACA D E M Y the clients needs to develop an individual treatment plan eg:
mental health services; youth services, General Practitioners
NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE NECESSARY etc. As part of treatment planning, clients may also receive a
SUPERVISED BY FULLY TRAINED RANGE tailored program of psycho-education and training in relapse
OFFICERS IN SAFE INDOOR prevention techniques. Sometimes another agency will
AIRCONDITIONED COMFORT retain the primary case management of the client, with the
COACHING & ADVANCED TRAINING Youth Dual Diagnosis Support Program contributing to the
AVAILABLE delivery of the treatment plan.
6 SEPARATE RANGES Where?
OPEN 7 DAYS 10AM TO 10PM
The Youth Dual Diagnosis Support Program is based at
Level 1, Paradise Centre (through food court) Surfers Paradise Qld 4217 the Gold Coast Drug Council, 191 West Burleigh Road,
Phone: 07 5527 5100 • Fax: 07 5527 5542 Burleigh Heads, Qld. Outreach services are also available.
PRESENT THIS COUPON
This program, free of charge to clients, is funded by the
Australian Department of Health & Ageing as part of the
National Illicit Drug Strategy (NIDS).
16 Hugs Not Drugs
Drug Awareness Course Personal Support Program (PSP)
HE Drug Awareness Course is a course designed for The PSP Program supports individuals as they begin the
the wider community to attend. And provides process of addressing their medical, psychological and
information on illicit, prescription drugs and alcohol. social problems. This embraces issues that both preclude
them from rejoining the workforce and impact on other areas
Who? of their lives. Clients are aged between 16 to 60 years old,
This course is open to any member of the local community currently in receipt of income support and find it difficult to
to attend. For further information about the next available become part of the workforce. Clients are referred to Gold
course phone our Receptionist / Advice Worker on (07) 5535 Coast Drug Council Inc. from Centrelink.
Early Birds Support Group
How? This service supports people in the early stages of
The course is presented by experts in the drug and alcohol recovery from drug addiction. It is designed to provide a
field. It covers topics such as marijuana, hallucinogens, regular service to members of the community who need
cocaine, heroin, tranquillisers, alcohol dependence, assistance with long-term drug use. The aim is to address
HIV/AIDS and other STDs. Participants will gain an insight and reduce the immediate and long-term personal and social
into drug identification, prevention and treatment, as well as impact of drug use.
the legal and medical aspects of addiction, and counseling Who?
techniques. A certificate will be presented at the end of the
course, if participants attend for at least nine of the 11 Clients can access the service from across the community.
lectures. Clients can be referred from a range of sources, including
health, welfare, community organisations or may self-refer.
Courses run for 11 weeks from 7.00pm to 8.30pm on
Monday evenings. Clients should phone our Receptionist / Advice Worker on
(07) 5535 4302 to make enquiries about accessing the service.
At the Gold Coast Drug Council, 191 West Burleigh Road,
Burleigh Heads, Qld. All clients are assessed by counselors prior to attending.
This assessment includes a brief history of the client, their
Cost? reason for seeking treatment, current drug use and any past
$80 (Health Card holders $40) or current psychiatric or therapeutic history. Assessments
normally take place from 4.00-4.30pm weekdays. The
Drug Court Program service is based on a harm-minimisation model, facilitated
This program helps drug dependent offenders to deal with by an out client counsellor. It offers the opportunity for
their addiction (s) by combining treatment services, clients to express their problems and feelings in a
correctional programs, and frequent drug testing, with supportive, confidential and non-judgemental environment.
supervision by the Courts. Services for Drug Court clients The group takes place on a weekly basis from 4.30pm to
include the Mirikai Therapeutic Community, supported 6.00pm.
accommodation and out-client services.
The Group takes place at the Gold Coast Drug Council,
Queensland Illicit Drug Diversion Initiative offers 191 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads, Qld.
professional health interventions as an alternative to the
criminal justice system. Clients are referred by the police for Cost?
first-time minor drug offences if they have no previous This program is free of charge to clients. For more details
criminal history, and provides offenders with an opportunity please contact our Receptionist/Advice Worker on
and an incentive to address their drug use early. (07) 5535 4302.
Hugs Not Drugs 17
RT and Drama is addict and those people who
held for two hours a care about them.
week in the This year there have also
residential program at been significant
Mirikai. Residents focus on opportunities for residents
creative expression, learning who have a particular interest
to play and be in the child, in the creative arts to work
develop skills for future with an arts worker on two
pathways and explore and express their cultures. community projects a consultative theatre project and a fire
Libby Harward has been the Co-ordinator of the Art & performance:
Drama program since May 2006. Libby was a resident of The consultative theatre
Mirikai in 1996 and began her career in youth arts at Mirikai, performance was presented
when she ran Art and Drama to Premier Peter Beattie and
in 1997 to 2002 whilst Minister Warren Pitt at the
studying Art and Theatre at 2007 Youth summit, three
Griffith University. residents worked for 12
One of the highlights for weeks to consult with their
this year was a Ritual Theatre peers and staff about drug
performance using fire as a and alcohol issues and dual
creative medium. Residents diagnosis, practice theatre skills and technique and devise
learnt about traditional and perform a commanding presentation which made their
theatre and dance and the significance of rituals in traditional audience ask more than a few questions about their ability to
cultures and how they translate into their own lives. The service the needs of youth suffering a dual diagnosis. The
group came up with symbols that represented addiction and three residents who worked on this performance showed
change and created a fire spectacular which honoured the great passion, dedication and displayed exceptional creative
process of recovery. The performance lit the evening sky flair. The residents of Mirikai were very proud to see their
with, evil pirates of addiction brandishing blazing fire torches peers achieve to such a high standard.
tawnting a giant head of the addict, a lantern procession, Some residents who participated in the fire and lantern
representing healing, which brought in the Mirikai dove of ritual at Christmas got to use and share their skills when they
peace (a giant lantern lit from within) and ended with two were asked to participate in a Fire performance with Gold
blazing figures celebrating the burning of the old and Coast Youth service at the opening for National youth week
allowing the new to enter. “In2YOUth” For this performance young people explored
Currently residents are working with a play write, Mic the theme of Launch yourself. The fire performance was a
Smith and art therapist, Stacey Bush to write and produce a pleasure to watch and friends, family, Youth workers and
play for past residents, staff, family and friends of Mirikai. peers of the young performers were made exceptionally
The play will focus on addiction from the perspective of an proud.
18 Hugs Not Drugs
OLD Coast Drug
Council Inc. is
committed to the arts
as a tool for engagement and
healing for young people. In
DRASTIC works on a peer mentor philosophy supporting
a group of young people aged 17-25 who have experienced
similar life stories to the target group and have showed
significant change in their lives. These young people
participate in DRASTIC as mentors to the younger
2001 DRASTIC was initiated participants. Mentors are currently referred through Gold
by two ex-residents, Emma Coast Drug Council and Gold Coast Youth Service. The
Cook and Libby Harward. mentors work alongside the target group to develop mentor
After being inspired by how the arts had helped them in their relationships and support them with arising issues.
recovery, they begun to work with young people across The Program provides four courses a year of six weeks x
South East Queensland, doing arts diversionary activities as one day a week, with a maximum of 12 clients per course.
well as consultative theatre performances for local The young people involved decide the activities explored in
government and local showcase theatre and arts events. The the course. The current group is focusing on Aerosol art,
name DRASTIC was the brainchild of Emma Cook, and is stenciling and sculpture of Hebel (aerated concrete). Their
an acronym for the work she was doing with Libby, it stands works will be showcased in mid August. We are currently
halfway through our first course for this year and have 12
for Drama, Rhythm, Ritual, Art, Self-Therapy, Inspired,
participants – 10 are from the Annex, alternative education
Creation. Gold Coast Drug Council Inc. supported this
program, one from Nerang High School and one through
program and attracted some funding for it in 2004-2005
Life Without Barriers, who work with young people in care.
where it became a more formalised arts workshop program
We also have four incredibly dedicated mentors who are ex
for young people aged 10-25. It has now received funding to residents of the Mirikai program. These mentors are an asset
run for in 2007-2008 and is being co-ordinated by Libby to the program; the skills they have acquired through their
Harward and assisted by arts worker Simone Karess. time in Mirikai make them an invaluable support to both the
Simone worked on the project in young people and the workers. Two of these mentors are
2005 and has exceptional artistic working with Libby to support the co-ordination of the
skills and a genuine way with project; their dedication is to be commended.
young people. DRASTIC workers are always on the look out for arts and
DRASTIC works with young cultural activities that they can link into to broaden the
people to develop their strengths experiences and opportunities of the young people they
and skills through an Arts & work with. If you have any
Activity Based Program. The ideas or feedback, run
current program is focused on cultural events or activities,
peer motor-driven education and treatment around young would like to link in with
people with complex needs, with a target age range of 12-17 creative young people, would
years. This is the predominant age range for licit substance like to volunteer or know
abuse such as binge drinking and chroming (pot-smoking someone you’d like to refer
and use of speed and club drugs), and risk taking behaviour to the program please contact Gold Coast Drug Council and
by young people with complex needs. get Libby’s details.
Hugs Not Drugs 19
“Stop Pot” is an educational, support group for cannabis
users. The course takes place on a weekly basis, running
“Stop Pot” encourages individuals to function without
cannabis; Free from the cycle of addiction. They have the
over five weeks “Stop-Pot” has been running at Gold Coast choice to take advantage of the opportunity to reach their
Drug Council Inc for approximately seven years. On full potential. Clients appear to get more enthusiastic about
average ten people attend “Stop Pot” so the group is quite stop pot as the group progresses and they can see themselves
small allowing participants to interact and develop social achieve positive results. After a period of abstinence, many
support within the group. Typical Stop Pot clients are from clients state, they wake up with more energy, motivation and
all age groups and can include individuals or couples where general enthusiasm for life. One of the greatest gifts clients
cannabis has contributed to the dysfunction of their inter- can achieve for themselves is to function without cannabis,
personal relationships and general quality of life. Each which frees up there lives for other more productive
group session takes place at Gold Coast Drug Council Inc on activities.
a Tuesday night from 6.00pm to 8.00pm. Each week we Clients need ongoing support networks. An integral part of
encourage participants to share how they are feeling and stop is giving clients a large range of options for referral and
how the new skills and tools of recovery they are learning aftercare within and outside of the organisation of there
are integrating into their daily lives. choosing.
“Stop Pot” Dates for 2007
CLIENTS CANNOT JOIN THE GROUP AFTER WEEK 2.
Group 1 23/01/07 - 20/02/07 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 2 13/03/07 - 10/04/07 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 3 01/03/07 - 29/05/07 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 4 19/06/07 - 17/05/07 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 5 08/07/07 - 04/09/07 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 6 25/09/07 - 23/10/07 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 7 13/11/07 - 11/12/07 Runs for five weeks two week break
“Stop Pot” Dates for 2008
Group 1 22/01/08 - 19/02/08 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 2 11/03/08 - 01/04/08 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 3 22/04/08 - 20/05/08 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 4 10/06/08 - 08/07/08 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 5 29/07/08 - 26/08/08 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 6 16/09/08 - 14/10/08 Runs for five weeks two week break
Group 7 14/11/08 - 02/12/08 Runs for five weeks two week break
Clients can access the service by phoning 55354302 and putting their name down for the next group .
(PLEASE LEAVE A PHONE NUMBER WITH THE BEST POSSIBLE CHANCE OF CONTACT)
A follow up phone call will be made by the facilitator approximately one week before the group starts.
• For clients that cannot make the group at the allocated times we can try to work out a suitable alternative.
Cost - $15 for five weeks, or free to health card holders.
20 Hugs Not Drugs
“Stop Pot” gives me an outlet to talk about my problems it gives me incentive not to smoke pot week by week. It’s my third
group and I haven’t smoked.
Client, “Stop Pot” Program
Since the first meeting I have grown in strength and generally become a better person inside, thus achieving a sense of self
worth and accepting the dudes and dudettes at Stop Pot. The group members we converse with are interesting and genuinely
wanting similar goals and common ground to talk about with each other, even though I’ve had the occasional smoke I feel
stronger, as the classes continue I can be honest with the group as well as myself.
Client, “Stop Pot” Program
“Stop Pot” has helped me immensely, not only being able to relate to people in the same situation, but to open up my
horizons to new perspectives and feelings. I appreciate this group and the help it has given me.
Client, “Stop Pot” Program
Supervised UT testing
by MIC SMITH taking the sample. A male volunteer tests the men while a
female volunteer tests the women.
The bulk of the clients for urine testng have finished the
RUG testing provides the most reliable way to show residential rehabilitation treatment at Mirikai and have chosen
whether a person has or hasn’t used drugs in the to stay in supported accommodation (OASIS). Regular urine
immediate past. The Gold Coast Drug Council tests are a requirement of the OASIS program. The half way
provides a free urine testing service every Monday, residents do UTs three times a week and use the venue as a
Wednesday and Friday at Mirikai between 3 and 5pm. Urine chance to meet and stay connected. It’s a relaxed and laconic
samples are collected under supervision to ensure the crew generally. For anyone who is not part of the Mirikai
samples are current and genuine. program, one test a week is generally sufficient.
The samples are laboratory tested for a wide range of A number of our clients access the service each week.
drugs and the results can be picked up at the office the There is a variety of reasons to show they are clean from
following week. The office staff asks clients to call a day drugs or alcohol. Many have court trials pending and thier
prior to picking up results. Alternatively the clients can lawyers recommend they show clean urine tests. There are
request for the results to be sent to their solicitor or people who want to volunteer at Mirikai. The Department of
probation officer. Child Safety sometimes requires testing of parents.
It is easy to sign up for urine tests. Every client fills in a Individuals entering into child custody battles or divorce
card with their personal details on which the supervisor cases are another group. Court orders make a small
records the date of each urine test. A Medicare card is percentage while some people find clean urine tests motivate
essential and the clients sign a test slip with their Medicare them to stay clean for a period of time.
number. The supervised UT test at the gold Coast Drug Council is
The trained volunteers are very helpful and friendly. They a free, regular and reliable service, which provides friendly,
take one client through at a time, doing the paperwork and positive support for anyone who requires testing.
Hugs Not Drugs 21
at Gold Coast
Drug Council Inc
by ADELE PAVLIDIS Adele Pavlidis
OLUNTEERING is a way to foster a sense of
community and belonging in individuals in society.
Sociologist Robert Putnam wrote a book titled
Bowling Alone where he pointed out the increasing isolation
There are various volunteer positions available at the
of individuals in contemporary life. We are now busier than
GCDC. These include: reception, answering phones, taking
ever, and our leisure time is spent more and more in using
enquires, and being the first contact for those visiting the
new technologies and watching the lives of celebrities we
GCDC; administration, database entry, PA to our talented
have never met. And so our community suffers. Crime rates
clinical staff, and filing (for those with some previous
rise, drug use increases, trust diminishes, and neighborhoods
administration experience); and Mirikai support
volunteering, where you support evening or weekend staff
Bodies such as ‘Volunteering Australia’ and ‘Volunteering with the residential rehabilitation clients, responding to
Gold Coast’ have been set up in Australia as the result of crises, supporting residents, and being a role model. We also
policy making in federal and local governments. These respond to volunteers’ need, so if there is something you
organisations facilitate, support, and encourage people to get
would like to do, but we don’t seem to have a position that
out there and volunteer. They educate the public about the
fits, just speak to the Volunteer Coordinator; you could be
benefits of volunteering and about the different
surprised by the flexibility involved with volunteering!
opportunities for volunteering available.
At the Gold Coast Drug Council we have over 50 Current list of GCDC volunteers
volunteers working in various positions and in several Andrew May, Angela Pereira, Andrew Barber, Avril
programs. Working from a bio/psycho/social model, Moores, Charles Living, Chris Dodd, Clay Feenstra, Clint
volunteering addresses some of the social dysfunction Ward, Daniel DeBehil, David Gishford, Donna Pascoe,
surrounding drug use in our community. Through providing Doreen McGrath, Don Petrie, Emma Johnson, Gavin Pugh,
opportunities to volunteer, we hope to lessen the isolation George Caralis, Gordana Stojanovic, Jae Vieritz, James
within society that lead some individuals to drug use. Stewart, Jasmine Le Loux, Jason Murray, Jessica Campbell,
We welcome people from all walks of life: students; those Joe Tuttucci, John O’Brien, Joshua Wright, Kelly Hodge,
with no experience; those with lots of experience. Whether Kent Holloway, Kim Jenkinson, Leanne Marks, Len
you are looking to simply ‘help out’ however you can, or Coleman, Lili Curtis, Lisa Hurndell, Luke Phillips, Marcus
whether you have some specific skills you would like to Ingles, Matthew Molnar, Markus Cavanagh, Nathan Gaunt,
provide, we have a volunteer position for you. Phillip Macguire, Raechelle Rosval, Rachel Nancarrow,
If you are interested in volunteering at the GCDC, please Shane Johnson, Sharrie Rash, Sharon Lampard, Susan
download the Application to Volunteer form, and either fill Croft, Sonia Serin, Sonia Smith, Steve MacDonald, Gay
it out and email it back to us, or print it out and then post it. Schindler, Laureen Gallagher, Kathy Williams, Kylee
Our Volunteer Coordinator will then get back to you with Block, Janis Shaw, Janine Horsely, Jo Twomey, Michael
more details and to arrange to meet with you. Smith, Paula Lupton.
22 Hugs Not Drugs
Other Gold Coast
OTHER DRUG & ALCOHOL REHABILITATION SERVICES
* Goldbridge (07) 5591 6871 www.goldbridge.com.au
* Logan House (07) 5546 3900 www.adfq.org
* Fairhaven (07) 5594 7288 www.salvos.org.au
* Crisis Accommodation (07) 5564 8360 (12-18yrs)
* Bannister House (07) 5591 3492 (16-18yrs)
* Blair Athol (07) 5536 2173
* Stillwater (F) (07) 5595 3980
* Gold Coast Youth Service (07) 5572 0400)
* GC Homeless Youth (07) 5591 3746
* Womenʼs Refuge 1800 811 811
* Kids Help Line 1800 551 800
* Ambulance 131233
* Lifeline 131114
* Parentʼs Line 1300 301 300
* Fairhaven (07) 5571 5248 www.salvos.org.au
* Currumbin Clinic (18+) (07) 5534 4944
* QHINH (Home Detox) (07) 5520 7900
* Tweed Heads D&A Service
and Merit Program (07) 5506 6800
* AA (07) 5591 2062
* NA (07) 5571 9222
* AL-ANON & ALATEEN (07) 5532 4320
Hugs Not Drugs 23
by ADELE PAVLIDIS ŒDrug Action Week). The event provided an opportunity
where different organisations could connect with each other
and the community.
Aw a r e Mirikai’s volunteer coordinator, Adele Pavlidis, and her
was a team of dedicated volunteers organised the event and found
community event that there is more to event management than she first
staged by the thought.
Gold Coast Drug Live and Aware. We decided on the name about three
Council as part of weeks into the planning stage. I thought it would be a cinch.
the national Organise an event. No worries. It can’t be that difficult. So
awareness week, a group of us met up every week: Byron, our sound guy;
Nancy and Emmanuel, students from Griffith university
doing their masters in event management; Susan and
FORD’S ELECTRICAL Charles, a naturopath and her husband; and Josh, the base
guitarist. Together we were the event team.
TOOWOOMBA Our first preference was to hold Live and Aware on top of
(OWEN & JENNY FORD) the transit centre in Surfers Paradise however due to noise
restrictions we had to move to plan B; Griffith University,
COMMERCIAL Gold Coast campus. But alas, it was not to be, apparently
& DOMESTIC they have never, and will never, allow any kind of event on
Griffith University property during exam week. By this
s INSTALLATIONS stage we were desperate. We decided that Live and Aware
s REWIRES would be held at Mirikai.
Okay, so we had the entertainment all planned. Jodi from
s REPAIRS s MAINTENANCE QuINN also joined us in hosting our event. From there
to things just flowed. QuINN would supply food; the
POWER POINTS LIGHTS
HOT WATER SYSTEMS
ESTABL0 YEARS & Electrical Contractors Association
PHONE 4634 2206
MOBILE: 0417 564 754
Birdland Drv. Toowoomba FAX 4634 2662
24 Hugs Not Drugs
listening to the MC, and they were enjoying the music. Live
and Aware was a success.
I was and still am so proud of the team for their hard work
and commitment to Live and Aware. Every week they came
to the meetings full of ideas, they used their own personal
time to organise Live and Aware. It was a great feat for all
of us! We even had a post-event dinner and talked about
next year’s event!
performers were all ready; speakers were in the pipeline;
volunteers were organised to work at the event. The only
thing left was promotion.
We had the flyers made up, and on Wednesday, June 20
we hit the streets. With 1000 flyers and cardboard signs
reading “Free Hugs”. I can’t own the idea of Free Hugs. It
was the brain child of Susan, our consultant naturopath. We
arrived in Surfers Paradise about 10am and we started
hugging. We hugged everyone in town that day. Workmen,
tourists, shopkeepers, women, men, and children. Most
people welcomed our hugs with open arms! And a few
crossed the road to avoid our loving arms. A cameraman
and a journalist arrived from Channel 9 Gold Coast News.
That was exciting. We were really getting some publicity.
Our spirits rose from that day of free hugging. People
seemed interested in what we were doing and what we had
to say. We handed out the entire 1000 flyers, and hugged
around 1000 people. Not bad for a bunch of ex-addicts!
On the day, everything was set to go. And then it began.
Slowly people arrived, interestingly the seats up the front
became full. People were having a good time! I couldn’t
believe it. People were listening to the speakers, they were
Drug Action Week®, an initiative of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA), is a national
week of activities to raise awareness about alcohol and other drug issues and to promote the achievements of
those who work to reduce drug related harm. The week also aims to promote public debate about good practice
strategies for reducing drug related harm.
The momentum behind Drug Action Week® is the hundreds of people who volunteer their time and energy to
hold events. It is their involvement that makes it such a successful and important week on the national
Drug Action Week® 2006 included activities that inform and involve communities, educators, individuals, the
media and politicians to reduce drug related harm in Australia.
Drug Action Week® is supported each year by a reference group of people from around Australia who work in
the alcohol and other drugs sector. The reference group provides advice on Drug Action Week® materials and
initiatives, while individual members help encourage and promote events in their respective jurisdictions.
Hugs Not Drugs 25
July 14, 2007
HE Gold Coast Drug Council Inc. proudly officially The garden was built by both parents and staff of the
opened their ‘Remembrance Garden’ on July 14 with community and today presents ‘a peaceful place to
a dedication ceremony attended by parents and remember those we have lost’. It is a place to reflect on the
friends. extraordinarily wonderful memories of the people who are
The day started perfectly; the sound of water trickled out as firmly planted in our hearts as their plants are rooted in
of the fountain complimenting the soothing background this soil.
music that welcomed the parents and friends as they started The Gold Coast Drug Council Inc. would like to sincerely
to arrive. Guest speakers shared thoughts about what the thank all who have contributed towards the creation of this
garden meant to them, and the dedication plaque was peaceful space.
unveiled by MP Christine Smith. Afterwards there was An open invitation exists for those who would like to add
plenty of time for reflection over a cup of tea and home to the garden by planting a dedication tree or plaque. Please
baked fresh scones. advise reception beforehand by phoning 07 5535 4302.
26 Hugs Not Drugs
Adele’s story How easily could I have been on of those plaques? I took
my life for granted everyday. I willed my life away. Stripped
of any human decency – I consumed heroin, amphetamines,
cocaine, and alcohol. I did things and experienced things
most people never image, even in their worst nightmares.
Most of the things I did I would rather not say – they haunt
me enough without me giving them life by speaking about
And so I cried. I cried tears for the people left standing in
the garden. The mothers and fathers, the sisters, brothers,
and friends of people who found no relief from their
I knew some of the people that had died. I knew their
struggles. I knew how easy it was for people like us to not
care about those around us. I knew what it was like to have
a craving so strong that it would seem that only death would
relieve it. It was only natural for people like us to use drugs.
It was somehow better than the other option.
I did not care, and now I do. The tears and sobs I cried
man and woman stand side by side. Their heads are
turned down in the same direction; they are looking were for me. Yes I cared about these families left to try and
at something. They are focused intensely on understand why. Yes I understood that lives were wasted.
something in the ground. They are staring at a plaque. They Yes I did care. However my tears were not for them. My
are staring at the plaque laid down in memory of their son’s tears were for me.
death. Here I was, 26 years old. Happy, healthy, employed,
studying. I even have a partner who loves me. I have a
Their son died just over a year ago from a drug overdose;
future. Now so long ago all I had was a past. A past full of
and today is the day they ‘celebrate’ the opening of the
blood and darkness; of violence and sex; pain and hurt. And
Mirikai memorial garden.
now all that doesn’t matter because my future is so bright.
Eventually they turn their heads. This time it is to look at
I can see careers and children and family and friends and
yet another plaque. They never knew the person for whom
not having to struggle and not being broke all the time and
the plaque had been laid down, and yet they stare at it as
having new clothes and being respected and not having to
intently as if it were their son’s.
hold my head down in shame of the life I live. This is my
One of these plaques could have belonged to me. Many future now.
times I have died, been close to death, or wanted desperately For not one minute do I take this granted. Being there at
to die. But instead I am one of the audience of this sweet the opening of the memorial garden reminded me of my life.
ceremony. I even helped out a little to organise people to Some would say I am one of the lucky ones, others would
clean up the garden before the public arrived. say I worked for it. I really don’t know why I have been
I listen to the people speak; to the music being played; to spared. I don’t know for sure. I do know how desperate I
the doves being released. It is all very beautiful, and at the was. I had to trust the people who were helping me. I
same time a sense of grief washes over me. couldn’t trust myself that was for sure.
Hugs Not Drugs 27
For a while I trusted Mirikai. At first I thought the staff wish there were, especially if we, or someone we love are
were crazy. The things they were telling me! They don’t suffering from this debilitating condition.
know who I was or were I came from, I thought. The rules, There are no cures, but there are places like Mirikai were
the other residents, they drove me mental. Or perhaps I was we can all get help. Addiction takes us to a place were we
already crazy from the drugs I took. are all alone in our misery. By reaching out to others we
It took me months to be able to listen without experiencing have a chance at recovery.
some paranoid delusion about what was being said. It took I am glad I am not dead. Life is too wonderful I have
time to trust that the staff at Mirikai cared. I made mistakes, realised. It may sound strange, but I never knew how
I messed up, yet they took me back – they gave me the
beautiful life was. I couldn’t see beyond the drugs and the
chance I wouldn’t give myself.
I feel for the couple in the garden. They look so sad.
Mirikai, place of peace. I have peace in my heart and in
I believe that it is important that we all realise how mind that I never knew possible. The peace I have is worth
precious our lives are. How much we are loved. In drug more than anything to me. They say never say never, and I
addiction nothing matters but that hit. I wanted to be out of don’t, but what I do say is thank you. Thank you Mirikai,
it, life was too hard without drugs. Now without drugs I can thank you drug and alcohol workers everywhere. Thank
see how very wrong I was. you to those people who support the drug and alcohol
I was wrong. It nearly cost me my life, and at time I workers, I am sure they couldn’t do what they do without
couldn’t have cared less. you. Thank you doctors and nurses for saving my life.
I want to live. I work at Mirikai and I want other addicts Thank you to the support groups who never fail me. Thank
like me to want to live. All I can do is my best to impart my you friends who talked me through tough times, thank you
experience to them. It’s a sad job at times: it’s exhausting, to my boyfriend who shows me everyday how loved I am.
infuriating, and painful. It’s also amazing, satisfying and Thank you to my family who never gave up on me.
wonderful. I do it because I know I have something to give And thank you God, or a higher power, or whatever you
to people who are like I was. like to call it. For giving me faith to get through the very
There is no miracle cure for addiction. I am sure we all tough times, so that I can be were I am today.
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28 Hugs Not Drugs
getting to know some of the
Gold Coast Drug Council Inc team
Name: William Aufai
Position: Drug & Alcohol worker (overnight)
How long have you been working at GCDC? Three and a half years
What is the best part of the job? Empowering residents, building relationships.
What is the hardest part of the job? Empowering residents.
Name: Doug Lister
Position: Finance & Information, Maintenance & Technology (IT) Manager
How long have you been working at GCDC? 14 months
What is the best part of the job? The diversity of the people and the programs
What is the hardest part of the job? Nothing, unless you want to make it hard, although lack of
time to complete required duties inside deadlines makes it difficult.
Name: Julie Dignan
Position: Senior Administrator (Part Time Job-share)
How long have you been working at GCDC? I have been working in this role for 4 months, but
also worked in the position three years ago before I left to have my daughter, and spend time at
home with her.
What is the best part of the job? It is an extremely challenging and multi-faceted job that keeps
me very busy and stimulated, and I really enjoy that. I love that the final outcome of what I do
centers around helping people
What is the hardest part of the job? It is sometimes difficult to always struggle to find enough
resources with which to do the job – finding enough funding is always difficult.
Name: Nathanael Martin
Position: OASIS Co-ordinator
How long have you been working at GCDC? Five years as both a volunteer and employee.
What is the best part of the job? Helping people to obtain and sustain healthy and positive
lifestyles. The staff rock – plenty of character!
What is the hardest part of the job? Program funding – need more money!!
Name: Sari Engelberg
Position: Welfare Officer
How long have you been working at GCDC? Volunteering and employed for 12 months.
What is the best part of the job? We have absolutely fabulous staff here and we are all
passionate about working towards helping people achieve recovery.
What is the hardest part of the job? Sometimes I have too much going on at the same time that
Iʼm not always able to give my full attention to all the people that need me.
Hugs Not Drugs 29
Name: James McGregor
Position: Consultant Quality Manager
How long have you been working at GCDC? Twelve years
What is the best part of the job? The meaningfulness of the work.
What is the hardest part of the job? Keeping up with the continuous change and the diversity.
Name: Jillian Zietsch - (Part Time Job-share)
How long have you been working at GCDC? Three months
What is the best part of the job? Working part time allows me to contribute to such a fantastic
organisation while keeping a happy balance with my family life. I really enjoy the HR part of my
job and look forward to helping to make GCDC a better place to work for everyone.
What is the hardest part of the job? Wanting to do so much yet only having a limited number of
hours in the day.
Name: Adele Pavlidis
Position: Volunteer Co-ordinator
How long have you been working at GCDC? Volunteering and employed for almost two years.
What is the best part of the job? Knowing that I am a part of something that is giving back to
society instead of taking away from it.
What is the hardest part of the job? Seeing people, who really need to get clean, want to keep
Home Office to
RENT • LEASE • BUY
1800 000 876
A l l t e l e p h o n e a n d d a t a c a bl i n g
30 Hugs Not Drugs
The Mental Health
First Aid Course
group of Mirikai acceptance that mental health disorders are widespread and
workers and volunteers common
were recently shown As one of the Mirikai volunteers who attended the course
how a person with psychosis I was very interested in the information that was presented.
may experience auditory The demonstration of auditory hallucinations was a
hallucinations or voices. The particularly striking experience for everybody. The class was
exercise gave class members a divided into groups of three. One person played the subject
powerful first hand with psychosis. He/she sat between a person having a
demonstration of what someone normal conversation with them and the person who played
with schizophrenia may be the voice in their head. The auditory hallucination role-
experiencing. It was part of a person constantly whispered suspicious comments in the
two day Mental Health First Aid subject’s ear making it impossible to converse with the other
Course, held at Pindara Hospital person for more than a few minutes. As well as the exercises
July 3 and 4, which taught skills in class there were videos which gave balanced first hand
for providing initial help to accounts of people’s experience with mental disorders and
people experiencing mental health problems such as various treatments. The treatments that were covered ranged
depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis and substance from self-help and family support, to counselors and
abuse disorder. psychologists, to psychiatrists and medication.
Founded in 2001, the course hopes to improve mental The course was held over four sessions and was
health literacy and bring the layman’s knowledge of mental accompanied by a very useful manual. It clearly and
health first aid (MHFA) up to the level of medical first aid. practically outlines the aims and methods of MHFA. The
The course was developed along with an awareness and aims of MHFA are to
1. Preserve life where a person may be a danger to
themselves or others
2. Provide help to prevent the mental health problem
• Leadership and
developing into a more serious state.
3. Promote recovery of good mental health
• Executive coaching 4. Provide comfort to a person suffering a mental illness.
• MBTI® For a volunteer at Mirikai the training was invaluable.
5553 6060 administrators
There were people in the class from a range of different
areas. I learnt a lot of factual information, which I did not
2, 175 Varsity Pde, • Meeting & training know about mental illness, in a way I could easily
understand and put into practice. I learnt skills such as better
Varsity Lakes 4227 facilities
listening and the ability to engage a person in decisions
about their own mental health treatment, even at the early
Visit us @ www.pacific.qld.edu.au stage of first aid. And the manual was an excellent resource
to take away and keep handy.
Hugs Not Drugs 31
Australia takes to ice
HE use of ICE is on the increase in Australia and doses to maintain the same effect.
given the devastation it can cause to the body and The more ICE a person takes, the more they want – and
mind, this is hugely worrying. Research shows that when the powerful high of ICE can last for days or weeks,
38% of all people over 14 who admit to using amphetamines the potential for addiction is dramatically increased. For
use ICE. Over half the people injecting drugs in 2004 were example, according to some studies, the effects associated
injecting ICE. Throughout Australia there are now more with ICE can last 10 times longer than the effects of cocaine.
people addicted to ICE than to heroin. The end results of this are serious adverse effects on a
People from all walks of life use methamphetamines, but person’s body and mind and, tragically for some, the end of
many are well-educated, intelligent people who begin a a brilliant and promising future.
tragic journey into addiction at dance parties or concerts.
From students to blue collar workers and even the gay A head case
community, ICE is the current social drug of choice in Effects on the brain
Australia. ICE and other methamphetamines are sneaky drugs,
because when first used, they release dopamine which sends
All about ICE a message to the pleasure centre of the brain, causing
ICE is the street term for crystal methamphetamine feelings of self-confidence and energy. The problem is, these
hydrochloride, but it can be known by other names as well, feelings don’t last. In fact, it is quite possible that by taking
including ‘glass’, ‘meth’, ‘d-meth’ and ‘crystal’. As with continued doses of these drugs, the ability to experience
other amphetamines, ICE affects the brain and nervous pleasure naturally can be lost.
system. It is often made in makeshift labs that can be And that’s not the only problem for users. People can
concealed in suitcases and contains ingredients such as drain become unpredictable and downright strange when taking
cleaner, battery acid and antifreeze, which are added to methamphetamines, engaging in prolonged repetitive
precursor substances such as over the counter cold activities such as continuously picking or scratching at their
medications that contain pseudoephedrine or ephedrine. skin (known as Ekbom’s Syndrome).
Although methamphetamine has been around for years
(one example is speed, which is snorted) the pure smokable Psychosis
version known as D-methamphetamine, or ICE, has become One in four ICE users will have a psychotic episode. St
a big health issue for many countries, including Australia. It Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney reported a five-fold increase in
is one of the most addictive drugs available today. admissions from 2000 to 2006 for psychosis as a result of
A powerful stimulant drug, ICE alters mood by speeding people taking ICE or meth, commenting that ICE patients
up messages to and from the brain, and releasing huge can be incredibly violent. Furthermore, psychosis resulting
amounts of the feel-good chemical dopamine. Smoking or from meth use may last days or even weeks.
injecting produces an effect in less than 10 seconds. Taken
with alcohol, which as a depressant slows down messages to
the brain, greater quantities of ICE need to be taken to get The long term effects of ICE and similar drugs are even
maximum effect. nastier. Studies show that methamphetamines may cause
permanent brain damage, including reduced memory
A life half lived function and impaired thinking. There is evidence of
One reason that ICE is so dangerous is because it is more reduced brain volume amongst ICE users and some young
addictive than heroin, can be 20 times stronger than speed, people report severe personality disorders.
and is much cheaper and more accessible. Why is it so ICE also relaxes inhibitions, causing some people to
addictive? It has something called a shorter half life than become ‘hypersexual’ and increasing the possibility of
many other drugs. Half life means the length of time of the contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.
peak effect of a drug. Therefore if a drug is cleared quickly Studies suggest a link between ICE use and increased HIV
from the body, a person needs to take regular or greater rates in the US.
32 Hugs Not Drugs
Drugs and driving
AFE driving requires clear judgment, concentration How will testing work?
and being able to react to what happens on the road. 1. Police will conduct a preliminary oral fluid test through
Drugs affect all of these. Taking drugs and driving the window of your vehicle.
puts you at greater risk of killing yourself, your friends or
2. You will be required to lick the test pad of the device. A
other innocent people in a road crash.
result will be known in about five minutes.
So, if you plan on driving ... don’t use drugs!
3. If you test negative you will be able to drive away.
Roadside Drug Testing 4. If you test positive you will have to get out of your
From December 15, 2006 police will have powers to carry vehicle and go with a police officer to provide a second
out roadside drug testing on any driver, rider or supervising oral fluid sample in the police support vehicle.
license holder. 5. The second sample will be tested using another oral
Driving with the presence of an illicit drug fluid screening device. It should take about 20 minutes.
A roadside drug test will be used to enforce the new 6. If you test positive to this test you will not be charged at
offence of driving with the presence of an illicit drug. this time, however, you will be prohibited from driving
for 24 hours by Police. The remaining portion of your
What drugs will be tested? second oral fluid sample will be sent to a laboratory for
• Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active confirmatory analysis.
component of cannabis. 7. If the presence of one or more of these three drugs is
• Methylamphetamine, also known as speed, ice, crystal confirmed by the laboratory, you will receive a Court
meth, or base. Attendance Notice within a few weeks of your roadside
• Methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA), also drug test with the charge of driving with the presence of
known as ecstasy. an illicit drug.
KING ENGINEERING PTY
Work q Milling
q Welding q Broaching
q Wide Range of Machining Steel Stock
Phone: 55 395 700
Unit 7/185 Currumburra Road, Ashmore
Hugs Not Drugs 33
What drugs are doing to
MARIJUANA • Insomnia
• Fever and sweating
IMPACTS: • Flushing
The symptoms of using marijuana can include: • Dry mouth and lips
• Slow thinking • Dilated pupils
• Slow reflexes • Nausea and vomiting
• Reduced coordination and concentration • Mood swings
• Reduced motivation
• Dilated pupils
• Blood shot or glassy eyes OTHER NAMES: E, Ex, E and C, eccy, MDMA, PMA,
• Dryness of the mouth Adam, XTC, love drug, eggs
• Increased pulse rate IMPACTS:
Consequences of using marijuana can include: At this stage there’s not a lot of research about the long-
• Mood swings term effects of using ecstasy, but it is seems that,
• Memory impairment particularly at high doses, there are definite health risks.
• Increased risk of cancer of the lung, mouth, throat and The symptoms of using ecstasy can include:
tongue • Increased blood pressure and pulse rate
• Panic attacks • Raised body temperature
• Delusions • Sweating
• Hallucinations • Overheating
• Paranoid thinking and other mental health problems • Jaw clenching
• Teeth grinding
SPEED (AMPHETAMINES) • Nausea
OTHER NAMES: Uppers, ice, meth, crystal, whizz, • Anxiety
snow, go-ee, shabu, point, paste, base, zip, eve, leopard’s • Tremors
blood, oxblood, gogo, MDEA. • Insomnia
• Dilated pupils
The symptoms of using speed can include: Consequences of using ecstasy can include:
• Increased blood pressure and pulse rate • Chronic sleep problems
• Increased breathing • Cracked teeth through grinding
• Teeth grinding • High blood pressure
• Anxiety • Dehydration
• Restlessness • Anxiety
PRECISION & GENERAL WORK • Hallucinations
• Decreased emotional control
- Lathework - Mill • Lethargy
MARK BARNES - Fabrication
ENGINEERING • Severe depression
PTY LTD ACN 074 151554 - Aluminium Welding
• Nerve cell damage
Ph / Fax - Tig Welding
• Thermal meltdown
5526 4121 35 Olympic Circuit Southport 4215
• Death from heart failure
34 Hugs Not Drugs
COCAINE • Reduced inhibitions
OTHER NAMES: Coke, flake, snow, happy dust, Charlie, • Dizziness
gold dust, Cecil, C, freebase, toot, white girl, Scotty, white • Headache
lady, Crack cocaine-crack, rock, base, sugar block • Confusion and agitation
IMPACTS: Consequences of using GHB can include:
The symptoms of using cocaine can include: • Extreme drowsiness/grogginess
• Anxiety • Hallucinations
• Increased pulse rate • Difficulty focussing eyes
• Dilated pupils • Vomiting
• Paranoia • Impaired movement and speech
• Agitation • Reduced muscle tone
Consequences of using cocaine can include: • Convulsions/seizures
• High risk of addiction • Coma
• Violent or erratic behaviour • Respiratory distress
• Hallucinations • Slowed heart rate
• Cocaine psychosis • Lowered blood pressure
• Eating or sleeping disorders • Amnesia
• Impaired sexual performance • Death
• Ongoing respiratory problems • Can be addictive with prolonged use
• Ulceration of the mucous membrane of the nose
• Collapse of the nasal septum, cardiac arrest, convulsions
ALCOHOL + TOBACCO
HEROIN It’s easy to forget that alcohol and tobacco are drugs too.
OTHER NAMES: Horse, hammer, H, dope, smack, junk,
Even though they are legal, smoking cigarettes and
drinking too much alcohol have negative impacts on you
IMPACTS: and the people you’re with.
The symptoms of using heroin can include:
• Lethargy Alcohol:
• Drowsiness • Alcohol is a depressant.
• Nausea • Getting drunk leads to blurred vision, dehydration,
• Constipation nausea, slow reflexes and putting yourself at risk of
• Constricted pupils violence or sexual abuse.
• Slowed breathing • A hangover is your body showing it is suffering from the
amount of alcohol you’ve had.
Consequences of using heroin can include: • You can actually die from an alcohol overdose.
• High risk of addiction
• Mood swings Tobacco:
• Depression • Even one cigarette does damage to your body.
• Anxiety disorders • Smoking kills more than 19,000 people in Australia each
• Chronic constipation year.
• Infection at site of injection • It’s the largest cause of preventable deaths in the western
• HIV and hepatitis infections through sharing of needles world.
• Non-fatal overdose • Cigarette smoke is toxic – it contains over 4,000
• Death from overdose chemicals including paint stripper.
• People near a smoker breathe in the poisons too.
OTHER NAMES: G, fantasy, grievous bodily harm DARREL ROOK
(GBH), liquid ecstasy, liquid E
The symptoms of using GHB can include: 269 TOOLEY ST, MARYBOROUGH
• Induced sleep
Phone 4123 2060
Hugs Not Drugs 35
a parent’s story
HIS speech was presented by Ann Williams at the
Drug Action Week celebrations held at Mirikai on
Friday 22 June 2007. The theme of the week was
‘Live and Aware’. My daughter moved to Townsville never staying too long
Live and aware is the theme for Drug Action Week and in one job and never having any money – with me going to
aware is an excellent word, very important in the recovery rescue her every so often. At this stage I didn’t know just
journey but it is the polar opposite of what I was as a parent. how unsafe her behaviours were. After two or three years
My daughter has a dual diagnosis, she has bi polar disorder she moved to Tom Price a mining town in Western Australia.
and she is a drug addict. I was delighted that now she would get some stability in her
Every parent I have ever talked to loves their child. It is in life. She was to live with her sister, the mine provided a
our human nature to nurture our young. I was no exception. house practically rent free and she could secure a well paid
I loved and wanted to protect my daughter. I wanted to fix job. The location didn’t change the situation it just got
worse. In the mining industry the workers are regularly
her problems. I knew that she used alcohol when she was
tested for alcohol and marijuana so less detectable drugs
young during this period I monitored her movements, tried
such as methamphetamines are used.
to control her behaviour believing that that was my role. I
didn’t think that it would be better to look for a reason why Last November, with nowhere else to go, she returned
she was turning to alcohol, it never occurred to me. During home. Not long after she arrived she told me about her drug
university when she let me know that she was dependent on use and outlined what had brought her to the realisation that
marijuana I sent her to psychiatrists and psychologists she had to do something before the substances that she was
thinking that I could pay to have the problem fixed. To me it using caused irreversible damage to her body, mind and
soul. She informed me that her drug of choice was crystal
was no different to fixing the cut on her knee when she was
meths, ice, I was devastated.
little. As a parent I believed she would grow out of her
alcohol and drug use and the resultant behaviours – that it I had no understanding of the drug culture, the drugs used
was all part of adolescence. But the use and the behaviours and the affect that these drugs had on people but over the
were far more extreme than my other three children. To me next three months we got a first hand glimpse of the unsafe
it was as if she was rejecting my beliefs, values and world that she was in and the resulting anguish that it caused
behaviours. I took it personally as if she was personally parents. In November she made phone calls to rehabilitation
attacking the behaviours I had tried to pass to her. I assumed centres in Brisbane, Northern NSW and on the Gold Coast
but, because of her dual diagnosis, nothing could be done
I knew what was best for her. I was so busy trying to help
until she secured a report from a psychiatrist to say that she
her behave in what I saw as the right way that I forgot to
was mentally fit enough to manage a program. It was
listen when she spoke or to investigate why she needed to
coming up to Christmas and there were no appointments to
use alcohol and drugs. There were times when I divorced
be had until mid-January 2007. The three months were
myself from the situation in order to survive.
extremely difficult for my daughter and the family.
When she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age
She had come home so that I could ‘fix it’ as I had
of 21 I used that as an excuse for the behaviours that were equipped her with no mechanisms to deal with this but a
part of our lives. The never knowing how she was going to parent soon realises that an addict is the only one that can
react, believing that other family members were given take the necessary steps in their recovery. I was sick myself
preferential treatment and vicious verbal attacks. There were from the anxiety of watching a daughter alter her state of
times when I was scared of how she would react and what mind to such an extent that there was no knowing what she
she was going to say. Family gatherings were often would do or what dangerous situations she would put herself
unpredictable. I spiralled into desperation reverting to into. As a Mum there is no one you can talk with as the
behaviours that I thought would ‘fix it’ but never thinking community’s knowledge of addiction is so limited. You feel
why. isolated from friends, the community and desperate to know
36 Hugs Not Drugs
what direction to go to find help. You don’t know where to Mirikai has offered a safe haven, a chance to begin a
turn. There are no signs. journey of recovery, professional support and mentoring.
I was fortunate in that I had grown up in an AA household. The understanding Mirikai offers comes from people who
My father was a member of AA in a country town and have been in the same situation and know the desperation.
became a sponsor to alcoholics searching for sobriety. I had Mirikai offers a support group for emotionally damaged
an understanding of the 12 step program and the support the parents and families so that they can learn to change their
fellowship offers. My brother is an alcoholic and had been a behaviours, to accept and rejoice in their son or daughter
member of AA for some years. I turned to him. He supported and to hand their son or daughter back control of their own
me and through me my daughter. He was non judgmental, lives and their recovery.
knowledgeable and led me to support her in finding NA. But My daughter’s recovery has given me a second chance of
she needed a rehabilitation program. seeing her grow into the beautiful person that she is. She is a
After a particularly unsafe incident I rang the Gold Coast sensitive, caring and capable human being who has much to
Drug Council finding the number in the yellow pages and a offer the community. I rejoice in the opportunity that she has
young man with an understanding voice answered the and hope and pray that she will be patient and understanding
phone. He told me that he had been through the program and with me as I learn to let her take control of her own life,
was eight months clean. He had also come back from make her own mistakes and enjoy her own successes.
Western Australia. You would not believe the elation I felt to In Drug Action Week the action I, as a parent, would like
know that there was other young addicts out there, this gave to see is a nonjudgmental, knowledgeable and empathetic
me hope. I had found a lifeline. society that directs a fair amount of its abundant financial
Mirikai was and has been that lifeline. My daughter resources to recovery.
entered Mirikai as a resident on Thursday, January 24, 2007. Ann Williams
We would live in the miracle of our existence. When we are
Justin Smith awake to the preciousness of Life, we go through our days
Our life force is the key to our survival. Without it we cease respecting the fact that our Life Force needs feeding and
to exist. nourishment like a tree.
Our life force has been described as the vital energy that We automatically ask ourselves how we can take care of and
breathes life into our bodies. protect this precious energy.
Our Life Force is the guardian of our minds, our bodies and By Matthew McKeiver
our souls. Asking this question, “will this choice add to my
life force or will it rob it of my energy?,” allows us to see
Somewhere in the depths of this world and creation
whether the choice we are about to make will strengthen our
Lies a place of peace and of quiet elation
life force and support us in keeping our inner flame roaring,
To venture there is a courageous feat
strong and vibrant or will rob us of our vital energy. We each
have a choice and with each action we either feed or starve One which some are destined to repeat
our life our life force. If you manage to get and your fear starts subsiding
Your hidden away, where there is no hiding
This question immediately reminds us that every choice,
decision and action we take has an impact on our deepest When you are confronted a beast will arise
selves and our sense of wellbeing. It reflects the unknown, which known, you despise
You feel scared and alone and re-arranged
Most of us take our life force for granted. We unconsciously
go about our lives thinking that we are immortal, taking our But you’ve gained the wisdom and the courage to change
health for granted and ignoring the needs of our bodies. But To survive in these depths is an endeavor
in the moments of recovery, when we are fully awake we But its serenity should last you forever
can’t help but feel and appreciate the great gift of being A long time passes, you look around
alive. If each of us were present to how precious our life It’s not Mirikai, its yourself that you’ve found
Force is, we would care for it as we would a newborn child. Kathryn Harris
Hugs Not Drugs 37
residentscorner Many a door was open to me as “Mirikai” as the “Key”.
Mirikai Magic I discovered 191 West Burleigh rd, to my achievements of
what could be.
Written by Kent Holloway 2005
I found that I had choices
We remember fronting sick and scared, uncertain at the Life has much to give if only we are wise enough to stick
door with “Mirikai” as there program was the best decision for
Alone and defenseless; a prisoner of a war to wanting me.
more Now that I have detoxed, my dreams can be fulfilled for
Our lives had hit the skids and some slid head-on into me or she.
psychosis Jeremy Donovan
And in the first few weeks without a fix we found it hard
We were told about Mirikai Magic but put it down to
Love is like a lump of gold
But step by step we found our feet to face the hurt that It’s hard to get and hard to hold
broke us Of all the guys I’ve met
You’re the one I can’t forget
So now we pray if just for today, we need never use again
And we huddle closer together ‘til the dark night’s at an I do believe that god above
end Created you for me to love
With our Higher Power filling our sails we set our souls He picked you, from the rest
towards our dreams Because he knows I would love you best
Making fire from sparks from deep within our hearts of
spirit and trust in staying clean
I had a heart that once was true
And now its gone from me to you
We don’t talk about what we don’t want to do
Nor do we forget from where we came So take good care of it as I have done
Retelling our tales of recovery to the new For now you have two and I have none
Cos though we may be different, Addiction’s all the same
Once I get to heaven and your not there
We were told about Mirikai Magic but put it down to I’ll wait for you by the golden stairs
Hocus Pocus And if your no there by judgment day
But step by step we found our feet to face the hurt that I’ll know you’ve gone the other way
So I’ll trade my golden wings
So now we pray if just for today, we need never use again
And other precious things
And we huddle closer together ‘til the dark night’s at an
Just to prove my love so true
With our Higher Power filling our sails we set our souls I’ll go to hell to be with you
towards our dreams Natasha Mangan
Making fire from sparks from deep within our hearts of
spirit and trust in staying clean
There are times when we don’t know who we are “Moving the Gold Coast”
And the heavy black clouds consume the brightest star
• Backhoes • Bobcats • Mini Excavators • Tip Trucks
When we want to leave is when we most need to stay
And if it’s too much we’ll sleep on it and decide the next Ph: 5591 2455 All Hours • Fax: 5571 0081
day 10 Bailey Crescent, Southport
38 Hugs Not Drugs
Testimonials ... ... I started using drugs at the Living in rehab was quite different for me in the beginning
age of 15. I started smoking a because of my mental state. As time went on, I found a few
bit of pot which by the age of medications and it became easier when I found the right one.
18 progressed to much harder I had to accept that I may be on medication for the rest of my
drugs like speed and ecstasy life. Rehab was a great learning experience for me to see
with that became a lifestyle of myself through others eyes. I graduated the program after
which involved crime, drugs, nine and a half months and moved into the Oasis Program
lies, deceit and money. All (halfway). Halfway has given me the opportunity to re-
which landed me in jail where integrate back into society. It’s helped me save, pay bills and
it became my life ... As long as live a healthy lifestyle. I am coming to the end of my stay
drugs and crime were in my here. I just live simply and take it a day at a time. I owe my
life I would soon lose life to both Mirikai and the Oasis Program. Anonymous
everything else, my family, my
friends and my freedom. I
mean everything! Soon I realised I would die or live my life ... When I was 15 I started using drugs. To start with I
in jail. I realised I needed something else when the courts experimented with marijuana, speed, ecstacy, cocaine etc.
offered me a drug court order where I could go to rehab at Things began to really get out of control when I found
Mirikai and promised that if I worked hard I could get my myself with a heroin habit at 18. Up until that stage I had
life back so that’s what I did. I am now 26 years of age and believed that I was different from anyone else and would not
Mirikai has turned my life around. Twelve years of hell and develop a habit.
my life has turned into a dream come true. I never thought I I quickly realised that I could no longer manage and was
could get my life back, but Mirikai changed me in every addicted. I had a number of unsuccessful attempts on the
way. I now have a loving girlfriend and my family and good methadone program and also Naltrexone, however I could
friends by my side. I now live a clean life and feel good not bear to give up. I went through countless excruciating
about who I am. I don’t need drugs or crime to have fun, it detoxes, but just picked straight back up again. Heroin took
feels good to be where I am today. Matt Gilmore me to a disgusting place, one where I would stop at nothing
to get it. I robbed a lot of people, even family and
... For so long I thought my addiction was going to be part prostituted myself. Every cent I could get my hands on went
of me for the rest of my life. I used speed to help me out of to heroin, therefore I lived on the streets – squats, toilet
depression and heroin to bring me down from complete blocks or just wherever I landed. Eventually I landed in jail,
mania. I suffer from Bi-polar (manic-depression). Drugs was released and then straight back into it. The next time I
make me feel normal. went to jail I found out I was pregnant. I applied for a Drug
I used drugs for 12 years. I remember the first time I used Court Order and was released from jail to go to Mirikai Drug
a substance it made things that used to be dark, colourful. Rehabilitation Centre. Though at the time I didn’t think so,
From that day onwards my using was everyday. My using this turned out to be the best thing I could of done for myself
took me to dirty alleys, dirty needles and dirty situations. It and my then unborn child. My life changed on so many
got to the point that using and doing crime was normal levels. I truly believe had I not gone into treatment that I
everyday way of life for me. Between countless psych wards would be dead or at the very least would not have my
and detoxes I was beaten. My family didn’t want to know daughter. Today I am two and a half years clean, have a
me unless I was clean. I really resented them for that. At 22, beautiful daughter, work in administration in a treatment
I found myself broken, lonely and on probation. At that time centre and thank god every day that I am no longer in active
I was on subutex as a back-up, but I was still using addiction. Anonymous
everything, everyday. The doctor I was seeing told me about
getting Naltrexone implants to stop the heroin use, but they
were only being done in Western Australia – so I went ... There are many times over the past 10 years so that I
desperate and with every intention of coming back clean. thought I may never be free of the fear of losing my child or
But I came back to Brisbane and hit the speed harder than the helplessness that comes with drug addiction of a loved
ever. I gave a dirty UT to my probation officer and received one. Nowadays I have a daughter completely abstinent from
a summons to court. After fronting the same Magistrate drugs and a beautiful granddaughter who was born at
many times he gave the option of either jail or rehab. I chose Mirikai. The staff at Mirikai have been an endless support to
rehab – I chose life. That was the beginning of my time at my daughter and I am so grateful.
rehab. Parent of a client, the Mirikai Residential Program
Hugs Not Drugs 39
HE Gold Coast Drug Council Inc. wishes to
acknowledge the support of the following
individuals, companies, groups and departments who
have contributed towards our aim of reducing the tragic
Education & Training, Dept. Employment & Workplace
Relations, Dept. Employment & Industrial Relations, and
Gold Coast City Council.
consequences of drug use among young people, their
families and the wider Community. Gambling Community Benefit Fund, AERF Foundation
Ltd, Royal A & N.Z College of Psychology.
Staff, Volunteers, Board of Directors, Clients
Qld Health, Dept Housing, Dept. Communities,
Commonwealth Departments of Health & Ageing, Dept. Medical Practitioners:
Professor Phillip Morris, Dr Bruce Whelan, Dr Lee, Dr
Sharon Taylor, Dr Gibson, Dr Vaughn Miller, Dr Ian
Maxwell, Dr Laura Damas, Jane Robottham.
Members of Parliament &
Local Members of Parliament & Councillors:
• Christine Smith - State Member for Burleigh
• Margaret May - Federal Member for McPherson
• Greg Betts - Local Councillor for Burleigh
ELEPHANT ROCK University Partnerships:
Griffith University, Bond University
Poolwerx Elanora, Desley D Mauerer, T&Y O’Loughlin,
Cafe Breakfast & Lunch q A la Carte Dinner
M.Predegast, G&C Briskey, Coastal Printing Service P/L,
Now Licensed NetRepair, Gold Coast Traffic Offenders Program,
S.Gibson, Margaret May, JA & JP Murrells, D&C Higgins,
OPEN 7 DAYS FROM 7AM Nedgera Pty Ltd, D.Miller, Australian Locksmiths, AIB
776 Pacific Parade, Insurance Pty Ltd, Chicken Delight, Panasonic@work,
Downs Dairy, Amcal Chemist Burleigh Heads, Top Gun
Currumbin Beach Uphostery, Fire 2000, K.Wilton, Coolco Air Conditioning,
¤ 5598 2133 Ink on the Run, First Choice Communications, M.Booth,
Total Supply Solutions, Alpha First Aid, Ingles Family,
www.elephantrock.com.au V.Taufer, Mr & Mrs Gishford, Eidelweiss Catering,
OntheNet, Top Cut Foods Ltd, Southport/Labrador Cricket
Glad to assist the Gold Coast Drug Council
Club, Superior Mobile Solutions.
40 Hugs Not Drugs