'It is an epidemic' - Recovering meth addict speaks out on Mandurah's drug problems

TIME FOR CHANGE: Jettrude McGlade has spoken out on her experience of using meth and says the problem is an epidemic in Mandurah. Photo: Gareth McKnight.

TIME FOR CHANGE: Jettrude McGlade has spoken out on her experience of using meth and says the problem is an epidemic in Mandurah. Photo: Gareth McKnight.

A recovering drug addict has labelled Mandurah's issues with methamphetamine as an epidemic, saying the community needs to rally together to tackle the scourge.

Jettrude McGlade lives between Ellenbrook and Mandurah, with the mother-of-three spending time in the Peel region of late to support a drug-addicted, homeless family member.

She has witnessed first-hand how meth can destroy lives.

Jettrude's partner and five siblings are all in prison. Her three children have been re-homed through the Department of Child Protection.

She is a recovering addict and turned to drugs to deal with trauma and grief.

"I lost my dad when I was 15 and had to turn my first-born child's life support off when she was three months old - she was buried two days before my 18th birthday," she said.

"That is why I turned to drugs, just to get rid of the pain."

Jettrude said she wished she could wind back the clock.

"I wish I'd never touched drugs - I'd lost myself to the point that it wasn't even me - I never want to feel that again," she said.

"I just see everyone else doing that now and I'm trying to make a difference by giving advice and support if I can.

"This is my last resort - I don't know what else to do."

Meth use has adverse effects in chronic users, including unpredictability, stimulant psychosis and violent behaviour.

"These people, when they are on meth, it's not them anymore," Jettrude said.

"I'm worried about the stuff people on drugs are doing, hurting each other. It's not normal.

"The stuff that I've seen and how people act, it's just not right. It needs to change because it affects the whole community.

"It makes the community, older people in particular, feel unsafe. They are scared to come out of their houses - I see it.

"To me, it is a drug epidemic. It is not just here in Mandurah, it is everywhere."

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Jettrude said a drug-addicted family member chose to live in a "horrible" squat house in Mandurah.

The family member accesses local support services, but Jettrude said a more holistic approach was needed to help people get their lives back on track.

"I think there could be more help - we need more services," she said.

"Most of these people that are struggling with drugs, just want someone to talk to - someone to listen - that makes a difference.

"People should know that there is support out there and they are not on their own."

Jettrude said more needed to be done to stop meth dealers and educating the younger generation was paramount.

"With the people that are dealing drugs, police are not doing enough," she said.

"It feels like we can clean these streets up if we work together.

"For young people, they have their whole lives ahead of them. I have three children - I don't want them growing up in places like this.

"I just see it everywhere - if I could make that little difference, I would do anything."

For information on Mandurah Narcotics Anonymous meeting times and help available to recovering drug addicts in the Peel region, call 1300 652 820 or visit wana.org.au.