THE HOS­PI­TAL PER­SPEC­TIVE

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

PHILLIP Brooks has seen the ef­fects of ice, or metham­phetamine, first hand.

As a reg­is­trar in the Emer­gency and Tox­i­col­ogy Depart­ment at Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal, he fre­quently wit­nesses pa­tients ad­mit­ted in a state of drug-in­duced psy­chosis.

“Pa­tients on meth are acutely ag­i­tated, they can be ag­gres­sive, vi­o­lent to­wards staff and have al­most su­per-hu­man strength,” Dr Brooks said.

“They can re­quire phys­i­cal and chem­i­cal re­straint for both their safety and that of the hos­pi­tal staff.

“Pa­tients are of­ten acutely para­noid, con­fused, deliri­ous and at the ex­treme, in a state of acute drug-in­duced psy­chosis with ex­plo­sive out­bursts of vi­o­lence.”

“Se­cu­rity, staff, po­lice and am­bu­lance staff have at­tempted to re­strain them when they are bit­ing and spit­ting blood.”

Dr Brooks said he had def­i­nitely seen an in­crease in these types of cases in re­cent years and said metham­phetamine was a one-way path to de­struc­tion. “The mes­sage is – don’t try it,” he said. “I have seen ice ruin lives, not only the in­di­vid­ual, but those of loved ones hav­ing their lives torn apart; it has the abil­ity to de­stroy some­one’s per­son­al­ity.

“It is pro­foundly habit form­ing, so an in­tro­duc­tion to it may give a high, but will turn into an all-con­sum­ing habit. “I wish peo­ple could see what I see and think about their choices more care­fully.”

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