Former Busselton resident speaks about life addicted to meth

Since joining the Fresh Start Recovery Programme Mr Palmer has enjoyed working in the garden and helping out with small maintenace tasks at the organisation's recovery centre in Northam. Photo by Suzanne Wilkins.
Since joining the Fresh Start Recovery Programme Mr Palmer has enjoyed working in the garden and helping out with small maintenace tasks at the organisation's recovery centre in Northam. Photo by Suzanne Wilkins.

“METHAMPHETAMINES made me an empty violent person living on the streets with no self worth.”

A former Busselton resident speaks about his "torturous" 27 years of using illicit drugs in the hope of offering others a way out of their arduous addiction.

Peter Robert Palmer, 52, has watched the trends of designer drugs change over the years but one thing he said remained the same was the “sadness behind a user’s eyes”.

 “It’s a very real problem with a lot of people using and managing to hide it too well,” he said.

While living in Busselton Mr Palmer was working as a builder and using the psychedelic drug LSD, smoking cannabis and injecting methamphetamine.

“I would cook the meth and inject it, sometimes not sleeping for three weeks,” he said.

“It was always easy to get a hold of and I’d take it to keep active at work.”

Mr Palmer remembers his thought patterns weakening and not knowing the difference between reality and delusion.

“I would see trees turning into humans, I couldn’t interpret what was going on around me and I lost track of who I was,” he said.

It wasn’t until seven months ago when Mr Palmer was sat on a busy street in Perth that his life changed for the better.

“I remember a woman asking me if I needed help and she handed me a business card,” he said.  

The next day Mr Palmer visited the Fresh Start Recovery Programme in Subiaco and was seen by addiction medicine specialist Dr George O’Neil.

 After many years of using Mr Palmer said he strained his heart to the point where it was “get clean or die alone on the street”. 

“I never thought I’d surrender to my fear of giving drugs up but I did because I was desperate,” he said.

“I’ll always support Dr O’Neil and the work he does, he gave me reason to live my life again.”

Mr Palmer is now planning for the future with study and goals to repair relationships with his family.

“Busselton is a beautiful place and the new Fresh Start education respite proposed for Locke Estate will be a huge bonus for the region,” he said

“It will be a place to heal broken hearts abstinence free.”

Mr Palmer said he wanted to help others to be truthful to them selves and seek help.

“I blamed God and everyone else for my addiction but you have to be honest with yourself if you want help,” Mr Palmer said.

He said playing with drugs at a young age was a dangerous game with “one hit too many and a thousand never enough”.

“Your life can quickly spiral out of control. Just say no from the start, I wish I had,” Mr Palmer said.   

Dr George O’Neil will be speaking at the City of Busselton Mayoral Prayer Breakfast on September 4.

For more information about the breakfast contact deborah.holden@busselton.wa,gov.au.

More information about Fresh Start Recovery Programme call 08 9381 1333.  

This story Meth addict recovers after 27 years of using first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.