Chinchilla mother Debbie Green speaks for thousands of desperate Queenslanders as she pleads with authorities to throw everything they can at fighting the ice scourge.

"We're all looking to (the authorities) and saying help because that is what it comes down to," she said.

"Do we have to stand before you or fall on our knees crying before you see the pain that not only the addicts are in but also the families of the addicts.

"This affects the children because they are children of addicts, it affects parents of the addicts, it affects their brothers and sisters, the whole family."

Mrs Green knew virtually nothing about crystal methamphetamine four years ago. Then her daughter, who she asked to remain anonymous, collapsed in the shower.

"She was carted off to hospital and that's when I found out she was using ice - as she was telling the doctors and nurses," said the Chinchilla grandmother.

Debra Green had been growing increasingly concerned about her daughter’s increasingly manic and aggressive behaviour. Picture: Annette Dew
Debra Green had been growing increasingly concerned about her daughter’s increasingly manic and aggressive behaviour. Picture: Annette Dew

"I just sat there. I was crying and she just looked at me crying and said, 'I'm so sorry'. I just sat there thinking, 'my God, I didn't know, how could I not know'."

Before the fall, Mrs Green had been growing increasingly concerned about her daughter's increasingly manic and aggressive behaviour. However whenever Mrs Green raised the issue, her daughter fobbed her off with an excuse such as she was recovering from a "bender" or just been "smoking a bit of weed".

"When you're dealing with a drug addict, do you know how you can tell when they're lying?" she asked.

"When their lips are moving. Everything they say is a lie because they are telling you what you want to hear."

She knows now her daughter was already deep into her ice addiction, having been on the drug for three years. The addiction stripped her of nearly everything.

A marriage to a non-ice user broke down and she lost custody of five children. A second marriage to an ice user was violent. She was bashed in public. She had twins with the new partner. Authorities placed them in the care of Mrs Green when they were four months old.

"Parents are in a very difficult position because they are your babies and you want to help them but you have to be very careful in how you help them because you can actually become their enabler because you keep picking up the pieces, brushing them off and giving them the support," Mrs Green said.

Mrs Green knows more about ice than she ever wanted to. She knows the feeling of

taking a suicidal daughter to hospital but being turned away.

She'd virtually begged the doctor in Kingaroy to refer her daughter to the mental health unit in Toowoomba. She raced to Toowoomba then waited hours to see a nurse who eventually said it was "not their problem".

"I said what do you mean? How bad does she have to be? And the nurse said she has to be homeless, she has to have no family that care anymore she has to be penniless and then we'll consider it. It was unbelievable."

"From there I just started knocking on doors, talking with all the departments seeing what we could do, how we could get help."

Door by door, department by department, tear by tear, Mrs Green fumbled through the fog of the system that confronts addicts, their families and friends as they looked for help.

Most of what she learnt was from rejection, which pushed her daughter back to the drug. Every closed door provided a reason to return to the drug that was destroying her life but provided the only escape from the internal turmoil.

"If you get an addict right there and then when they say, 'I can't do this anymore, I need help', they need to be put in somewhere so they can be helped when they want it because in an hour or two hours time that will change," Mrs Green said.

Mrs Green's daughter was eventually accepted to a rehab clinic in Hervey Bay, where the intensive live-in program started the process of turning her life around.

She's moved back closer to home. Authorities have granted her partial custody of her two-year-old twins. She's learning to cope with two babies who are still learning that she is their mother and loves them.

Mrs Green's unwanted ice expertise is now in demand in Chinchilla where she gets asked for advice. She wants to help. But she has no answers. She can tell them about frustration and dead ends and what she did. But she doesn't have an answer about a system she thinks is broken. That is why she is pleading with the government for help.

"It is from birth to death that you are affected with it and that's what we are fighting so that you can get that help that you need."

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