'I feared my son would die in an accident while high on ice'

MOST people have hopes and dreams for their kids' future but for the father of an ice addict, he simply hoped his son would stay alive.

On and off for five years, Terry Bottrell's son Ashley was addicted to the drug ice.

In that time he went to jail and was nearly killed in car accidents.

"I often feared my son would die in an accident while high on ice or be shot by a police officer," Mr Bottrell said.

"When he first got introduced to ice in his early 20s he thought he could control it but it ended up controlling him."

Ashley Bottrell had turned his life around after he became addicted to ice.
Ashley Bottrell had turned his life around after he became addicted to ice. Contributed

Ashley was a heavy ice user, which his father said almost destroyed his life.

"He lost his partner and no longer saw his little girl," Mr Bottrell said.

"He was always a risk taker and decided to take on some dangerous decisions despite his Christian upbringing.

"It got to the point where he wanted to die."

A special report on the drug's spread found a higher proportion of regional and rural 18-24 year olds were using meth, including speed and ice, than in capital cities.

The turning point for Ashley was when his dad asked the question: "Ash, do you want to give rehab a go?"

Ashley agreed and was enrolled in a drug rehabilitation program at Bayside Transformations in Hervey Bay in 2014, relocating from Brisbane.

"The program turned our son from being suicidal and wreaking havoc to getting his life back and making a contribution to society," Mr Bottrell said.

"In the past four years he's been able to rebuild his relationship with his daughter and now inspires others as a project co-ordinator at Bayside Transformations."

The qualified carpenter has turned his life around thanks to the support of the program, its staff, his peers and family.

For the father of an ex-drug addict, life has changed for the better.

"I'm happy he's making a contribution to society and that we never gave up on him," Mr Bottrell said.

"We believe God was looking after him and can't be more grateful for what this program has done for Ash."

His advice to other parents dealing with ice-addicted children:

"Always keep your door open and never give up, no matter what."

For support and to find out about the program call Bayside Transformations on 4194 6621.

Topics:  drugs fairgoforourkids ice addict

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