Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last several years, you’d certainly be well aware that Australia is currently in the grip of an ice epidemic. Ice, a street name for crystal methamphetamine, has been making more and more headlines about how its destructive effects are being felt by Australians from all social classes. Gone are the days where it would be safe to assume that meth addicts can be spotted simply by their sketchy behavior, blemished appearance, and poor oral hygiene. The drug use in Australia is so wide spread now that it has infiltrated all levels of society across both urban and rural areas. The next-door neighbor, your office co-worker, the postman, or your local bank manager could be a regular ice user and you wouldn’t even think of suspecting any one of them. This alarming phenomenon has completely shattered the old stereotype of what was once considered a ‘drug addict’. In fact, Australia is reported to have the highest proportion of recreational drug users in the world. This isn’t too surprising considering Australians have a long history of having a strong drinking and drug culture.

The surge in Australia’s ice usage can be partially attributed to a combination of 2 factors –

1. low price point, and

2. it is easily available/accessible

Australians already pay incredibly high prices for illicit drugs when compared to prices in the international markets, and Aussies know this, so it’s not surprising that people want to get a good ‘bang for their buck’ when spending their precious money. For example, a point (0.1g) of crystal meth can cost as little as $40 and can keep a user high for up to two days, which is an attractive feature that of which other drugs are unable to rival. When comparing this to an expensive night out drinking booze at the pub/club, it’s a no-brainer decision for many price sensitive Aussies looking to get the most out of their buzz. However, many Australians are still naive and uneducated as to how addictive and damaging crystal meth can be. For example, many recreational and ‘weekend users’ quickly find themselves caught in a downward spiral of daily use and are unable to control their addiction. To sustain and fund their habit, they often resort to crime and adverse anti-social behaviour. In reality, it is understood that ice has a much more devasting social impact when compared to other drugs such as heroin. Crime prevention authorities have collated overwhelming evidence that highlights the correlation between ice usage and crime rates.

Based on recent media campaigns and outcry from affected families, it would seem that the Australian Government is unprepared and ill-equipped to effectively handle this ice epidemic. The simple reason is the demand for treatment far outweighs what the market is able to supply. Furthermore, there is growing evidence that illustrates that 30 day treatment programs are not long enough to effectively combat ice addiction and just as important, to set the patient up towards long term sobriety. There is a phrase commonly used in rehab…”we do recover”. While that is certainly true as demonstrated by millions of addicts around the world who are shining examples of recovery, the process is slow, long and complicated.

In fact, research findings have specified that the methamphetamine recovery cycle requires the addict to commit to at least 6 months in treatment in order to get the best chances of sustained sobriety. Unfortunately, at the moment, government funded rehab facilities in Australia are underfunded and over-crowded. Most programs are also deemed ineffective to combat ice addiction due to their short duration (30 days or less) and their ‘one size fits all’ program.

There are however, a range of private rehabilitation centres offering tailor made treatment programs, but these facilities are notorious for charging exorbitant prices (an average of $30,000 for 30 days). This staggering cost is simply not a viable option for the majority of Australian families who are unable to afford this. As a result, many Aussies have flocked to Thailand and Bali to partake in one of the many ‘luxury’ rehabs that are offering 30-day programs at more affordable prices. Although prices vary, on average a one month stay at a rehab centre in Thailand will cost around $10,000 to $14,000 depending on the length of stay and services needed. But what’s the point of enrolling in a 30 day program if the experts and research have strongly suggested that this is too short to successfully combat and treat meth addiction? And why is it so difficult for ice addicted Aussies to find suitable long term treatment that’s affordable? My response to this problem is an even lower price! Why not expand the search and consider more affordable long term options in private rehab facilities in the Philippines? Affordable Rehabs Pty Ltd, an Australian company was thus born to cater to this drug crisis. Affordable Rehab’s mission is to provide the average Australians who suffer from addiction problems, the opportunity to be treated in long term treatment programs at a low and affordable price without compromising on quality. All programs offered by the affiliated rehab facilities of Affordable Rehabs are accredited by the Philippine Department of Health. So now, upon reflection, the situation for Australian addicts seeking treatment may not be so grim after all.

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