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I don't know how you can resist cracking their little skulls against things.

You are a main of much patience Adrian.

Oh that all sounds awful Adrian. Stay Safe!

Eek.

All's well that ends well.. I had a similar incident, at a Mobil, at 1am, a few weeks ago..

I pulled up in one of the parking slots near the sliding front doors, next to a cab -intending to get a sandwich, but sat and listened -a skin-head guy (passenger), was arguing with the Indian driver about a potential fare into the Hills.. he had no cash, but wanted to pay with an IOU..

I made eye contact with the driver, letting him know he had back-up (me!!) and just waited.

Eventually the deranged dickhead got out, the relieved driver gave me a smile and split.

Then followed 20 minutes of this cretin walking back and forth, to a bus stop, back to the gas station, back over the road, yelling "F**k!! You C**ts!! F**k!!", kicking things, etc..

I rang Police, gave them the story, and kept a discreet distance while watching him.

The cops (one van, two cars) converged on the Mobil forecourt, the scrote was near the door, he got dropped and spread-eagled, he was on bail apparently so it was off to the cells for him..

He too was another example of Methamphetamine intoxication..

As Hill St Blues' Sgt Esterhaus used to say:

"Hey! Let's be careful out there!"

as i have said you need to come over the north side adrian,i won't say these things don't go on over there but you wouldn't find me anywhere near the far western or south western suberbs of sydney.

I don't envy you Adrian. This ice thing scares ten shades of you-know-what out of me. The agression...

Maybe all cabs should acutally be armoured vans, with the driver safely locked inside and the passenger in the back. Money through a little slot and the van only unlocked if you pay!

ice is seriously freaky. i've been in rehab twice and have spent a lot of time with recovering ice addicts. Their lives were way more out of control than the heroin addicts.

(i'm just a garden variety alcoholic, heh).

Let me just stick up for drug use here (and not at at all have a go at you, Adrian - you show wonderful restraint with these tossers).

It's not the drugs making these people angry, aggressive, obnoxious most of the time - it's the people. When I use drugs (including the dreaded ice) I'm generally an affable, friendly, talkative guy - much like I am without the use of drugs. But when ignorant, aggressive, troublemaking types use drugs, they tend to remain ignorant, aggressive, and troublemaking. It sucks, but it's a truth often ignored.

Anyway, keep up the good work Adrian.

A fair distinction, GP, which also reflects another maxim: hard drug addiction is often symptomatic of pre-existing negative conditions.

The scariest customers by far are those mixing alcohol and amphetamines. Thus I'd be interested to know if you've done this, and whether the mixture made you uncharacteristically aggressive.

Adrian:

You would be better served asking someone like Dr Gordian Fulde, Head of the ED at St Vincents Hospital, Sydney, or Dr David Caldicott, of Emergency & Trauma Dept RAH, Adelaide, about the effects of crystal methamphetamine (Ice)..

Ice is an acknowledged scourge, and I would suggest that "GP", above, is not a reliable source of information on what Ice does to people.

Ice changes the brains's chemistry, dopamine levels and so forth, to such an extent it can produce a state of mind resembling paranoid schizophrenia in users, and there is ample evidence that sadly, the damage done over time is not repairable.

I have witnessed the effects of Ice -the sleeplessness, hyperactivity, irritability, psychosis, violence...

I have daily contact/supervision of a woman who in 2007 was shackled in ED for three days following Ice use that left her psychotic -she was roaming the streets armed with a knife, this normally placid woman was grinding her teeth, growling, exploding with rage..

I have zero tolerance of Ice users, and fully support the Police in chasing down the dealers, and identifying those stupid enough to use it and deluded enough to think they will be the first person that Ice won't change..

I quote Dr Fulde:

DR GORDIAN FULDE: These are the most out of control, most violent human beings I've seen in my life, and I've been around for a long time.

We hold the patient down safely by their limbs. We don't sit on them, we don't do any of that, because it's obviously dangerous. And then we inject in a vein, preferably, very powerful chemicals. It's like a tranquilliser for elephants, it just brings them down instantly, because these people are so stimulated, so high, so out of control, that a dose of, basically, like a Valium derivative that would put you to sleep for ages, won't even touch them.


It makes heroin seem like the good old days. I mean, heroin was so easy. People would come in drowsy, maybe not breathing that much. It'd be easy to save their life, you just help them breathe, and you give them a shot of Naloxone, right? And they'd wake up, and everything would be hunky dory, right? It was just, like, all over. And they'd, probably they're not happy and they'll swear at you, and that's all right, that was fun, looking in retrospect. These ones, it's a completely different issue. There are just so many issues here, and as I say, heroin didn't make people, I believe, give long-term psychiatric effects, which is the thing that really worries me. It's acute, but the other thing is it's just very bad for the head.

Goldstein, though you're certainly wise to be sceptical of the claims of random commenters on blogs, I can assure you that I have at least a little experience in dealing with drug use and abuse - I've done quite a lot of work with Australian harm minimisation groups. I agree that it's worth consulting experts on these matters, but sometimes even experts allow personal ideologies or prejudices to cloud their judgement.

(For one, though crystal meth is now commonly referred to as ice, up until a few years back ice was only ever 4-MAR.)

Your comment that users are "stupid" and "deluded ... to think they will be the first person that Ice won't change" is blatant hyperbole - basically, it's a false claim. Though the example you give - Fulde's quote - is a nicely emotive one, it's the opposite of most of my experiences of people on crystal meth. Most people take meth when they're heading out for a night of dancing, and that's all that the *vast majority* of people will end up doing. Of course there are violent drug users, but "VIOLENT DRUG BRAWL" tends to make a slightly better newspaper headline than "DOCILE RAVERS HUG STRANGERS AND DANCE FOR HOURS" - it's not surprising that the functional drug users go mostly unreported then.

If one takes enough of it, excessive reactions are certainly feasible; I don't deny that. But if I drink, say, 45 beers on my night out rather than my usual 10 or 15, I dare say the effects will be a touch worse than normal too. Moderation can be key. And I don't claim that psychoactive drugs come without a risk of psychosis; there is risk. Anybody messing with meth who has a history of mental illness in their family is playing with fire. But the fact that a diabetic would be wise not to guzzle Coca-Cola all day doesn't mean there's something inherently wrong with Coca-Cola.

Adrian, I've certainly been drunk and on "ice" (c meth) before, and not noticed any aggressive tendencies (nor had them pointed out to me). In fact, though I'm not a fight-starting kind of guy, I'll typically stick around if a punch is thrown at me. But the only times that's ever happened to me I've been drunk - never on any other kind of drug.

Glad to be involved in a little civilised debating :)

GP: You can say what you like:

Fact: Meth/Ice is an illegal drug -its possession, supply and use are illegal. Alcohol use is not illegal. So your comparison is redundant -excessive use of alcohol can provoke arrest (D & D, DUI, etc), ANY use of Meth is a breach of the relevant law..

I have met David Caldicott, and I have spent considerable time in hospital Emergency Departments, including St V's, and Police Stations, and Prisons -I am a lawyer, former Investigator, and am involved in case management of people with mental illness, and offenders imprisoned because of their drug use, or diverted into Court Alternative Penalty schemes.

If you want a beer, you can get it legally. If you want Meth, you deal with sociopathic shitbags who cook it up in hotel rooms, dirty lounge-rooms in Commission flats.. You deal with criminals, 1% bike gangs who couldn't give a rat's arse for an effete ponce prissing about at a rave.. To them, you are a mug, a user, to be ripped off and laughed at.

It's not possible to communicate what I've seen to you -shithead drug dealers selling to patients on pension day, turning up and driving them to the Autoteller, arresting and restraining psychotic users running amok in Friday night traffic jams -girls trying to get punters stuck in traffic to give them $30 for a quick "gobbie"..

And stick your "hyperbole" up your arse -I deal EVERY DAY with the effects of these vile substances, I have a guy in prison for Manslaughter, because he offed his boyfriend in 2004 in a Meth-fueled slaughter. I see a woman daily, once beautiful, now 110kg and brain-damaged because of some shit that she used, that was sold to her as "Ecstasy", that put her in a coma for a week. Etc etc.

Just because a story is sad, pathetic, or horrible doesn't mean it's "hyperbole", it just means YOU have led a very bloody sheltered life.

Your argument about "I use and I'm fine and peaceful" reminds me of the old "My grandfather used to smoke a pack a day, and he lived to 90" crap -Meth is a scourge, and just because you reckon you haven't seen it, doesn't mean it isn't happening -take a look at a Magistrates' Court list any day and see how many are in there because of drugs, talk to crooks in prison and listen to the damage drugs did to them. And I won't even start about the Aboriginal communities now being targetted by Amphet/Meth dealers, we see black kids "getting on" in the park, where before they were accessing a bit of booze.

So you keep using your shit, maybe you'll get unlucky and get a bad batch -sucked in -or maybe you'll get pinched and feel the cuffs on your wrists, or maybe you'll be one of the growing number of bourgeois smart arses whose habit takes them over, and they end up penniless, and/or sitting with my punters outside Court, waiting for the Sheriff's Officer to call you in..

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