Home' Scoop : Scoop 54 Summer 2010 Contents 28 SCOOP SUMMER 2010
it made my problem worse and had a huge effect on my moods around my
daughter, staff and friends. Through strength of character and not wishing to end
up bankrupt and childless, I have come through a very black time in my life.
My drive and determination to succeed has the same flipside as Ben [Cousins]
– a complete inability to relax and find peace – and this is what drugs gave
me, too. I now look to the simpler things in life, and focus on the ‘my body is a
temple’ attitude. It works for me, as does yoga and meditation.
The problem is that we all lead busy, stressful lives and sometimes a glass of
wine is just not enough at the end of the week (in fact, that in itself is a drug), and
it is very easy to get drugs nowadays in this city (way easier than in the UK in my
experience). If people could do things in moderation that would be better, but
we only have to look at obesity to know this is unrealistic.
The Ben Cousins story, I feel, was an important one to share the negative
effects of the drug-taking. It shows that the drug addict of today still carries on
with life as normal to others. But, in the end, the cracks do appear. It showed how
it affected his family, in particular his dad and sister, whom I feel had tremendous
support not only from Perth but Australia-wide.
As a mother, at least I have knowledge of what is out there and what it can do,
so I am armed with the right tools to teach my child when the time comes. It is an
independent choice only an individual can make. But more parents should be aware o f
the signs, slang terms, effects, etc, so they can look for it and act if it does arise.
I do feel that focusing your article on cocaine abuse alone is a mistake. The
message is to educate the masses
(users, families and non-users), as
knowledge is the way forward. By
glamorising the ‘Hollywood’ set, you
are completely missing the point.
There are more people in Perth with
real drug dependences than the
Mount Lawley darlings who use
on the weekends so they can fit into
their Sass & Bide.
Name withheld, via email
Ed note | Thank you for taking the
time to write to us about this topic.
We, too, felt that the whole story
needed to be told and have listened
to our readers. Turn to our story from
p96 for a wider view of the issue.
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Noel Nannup has spent years learning the stories of
the land we live on. Now he wants the stories – and
the spirits – to sustain a new generation
wordsnathan scolaro « images tony mcdonough
STORY TIME SALUTE
Response to: Dreamtime storyteller, Scoop 53, p86
I first encountered Noel Nannup many years ago in a darkened room after a
conference. He had me spellbound, talking about his ancestors. Later, Noel was the
guide on a ramble through the Walyunga National Park – this time it was ostensibly
about ‘bush tucker’. He led us to an area where nothing was growing in a clearing
and spoke about a workshop that had been there thousands of years ago, trading
with people in the MacDonnell ranges in the Northern Territory. He showed us a
rock garden that had been in use to grow medicinal plants (without water) – again,
thousands of years in the past. Later, it was my pleasure to hear him talk about the
night sky at the Gingin Observatory – not so much about the stars but the ‘voids’ in
between, gaining an insight into the way Aboriginal folk interpret what is up there.
I have learned so much from Noel about the Nyoongar culture and see the land
where we live in a different and enlightened way. Keep telling your stories, Noel!
Dr Bill Parker, Solar Progress On-Line, via email
FAMILY BROKEN APART
Response to: Up in Coke, Scoop 53, p74
In 1983, our family split up. I stayed in Perth with our oldest son, who was 14. The
two younger boys – 11 and eight – went to live in Tasmania with their mother. We
kept in contact over the years, and at school holiday time they would come over
and stay. Sometimes I would go over to see them.
The youngest is the bright one of our sons – he did well at sports and school,
got a trade at a big boat-building company and did well. More responsibility,
and more money. He was in a relationship with a young lady for some time. They
bought a house and lived together. This relationship broke up; I think because of
drug use. He felt he needed a seachange, so moved back to Perth, had a new job
arranged and they paid for him to come over. Good job, better money.
That was about six years ago. We lived together for about two to three
months. His behaviour was not too good. I thought he was taking speed and
heroin. He moved out and was having trouble at work and never had money. The
house was next to go, though it was being rented and he was on good money.
He met a lady here and they had a child together. About a month after, he
rang his mum and said I was no good and that he wanted to go back to Tasmania.
When he got back, he gave his mum problems and moved out from her house in
a short time. Since then, he does not want anything to do with any of his family.
I have spoken to his mum and we just don’t know what to do. I think he has had
counselling, but he said they don’t know what they are talking about.
Name withheld, via email
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here’s thisbloke who went to work
fora company inthePerthfinance
industry. The job was excellent, the
money great, the clientsgood and
helovedthe excitement in theoffice.
Butit didn’t takelong to discover thatthe company
buzz wasfuelledby more thansuccessful deals...
It’s an apocryphal talebut withoutdoubt
Perthisbecoming a high-pressure, high-paying
and hard-partying place to live and work. And,
whereyouget money andprestige, youget cocaine.
Asonesource says, “The80s way of doing
businessis coming back.”
Perth–known asthe home of ecstacy and
methamphetamine (ice) –is sniffing aroundfor
something with alittle more cachet. WA police
knowfor sure that they are seeing more cocaine.
“Ten years ago, a lotlesspeople had access
toconsumecocaine, today more people are
seeing a lot more coke around andpeople want
it,” Detective Inspector Alan Mortonfromthe
OrganisedCrimeSquad says. “Thedrug dealers
are being askedfor it.”
In 2008-9 there were themost cocaine arrests
in Australiafor a decade. Around3kg of cocaine
was picked upinWA andthis year therehave
beenseveral seizures – totalling about 1.5kg– at
suburban Perthproperties. Just asScoop went to
pressinAugust, a 34-year-old man was arrested at
hisAdelaide Terracehome for trying to import6kg
of cocaine (worth $2.1m)from Arizona. Another
bustin Melbournein July netted240kg of coke
(witha street value of $84 million).
Cocaine’s glamour maybe due to the wayit is
usuallytaken, by insufflation – snorting itasafine
powder – which meansthere’s no nasty association
with needles. It couldbe the cost – at about$350
an ounce, only people with money to blow could
takethisovercheaperdrugs. Or perhapsitiscoke’s
particular effect –itchangesthewaydopamineis
processedinthebrain, causing intensefeelings of
pleasure and relaxation, as well as super-confidence.
“It’s a mellow drug that doesn’tput youout of
it but sort of makesyouhyper-clued-in,” explains
one occasional user. “You are more capable of
dealing with things.
“Whereasdope makesyoujust want to go
down southandhide out, coke getsyou out on
the town, talking to people,” he says.
It’s thedrug of choice for rock stars and movie
celebritiesand has long been associated with the
high-flyers inhigh-pressure, high-reward industries
such asbroking andbanking.Tales of excess
from Wall Street and the Cityof Londonhave
become thestuff of legend, but Melbourne and
Sydneyhave alsohadtheir share of high-profile
businessmen andlawyers whoselives have spiralled
out of control on cocaine.
Neuroscientists say itisno surprise thattrading
and cocaine gotogether. Bothinvolvetaking
risks, and dopaminelevels surge when we attempt
thingslikegoing skydiving, betting on stock
price movements or hiding in an officetoilet and
snorting a line of coke.
People who take risks alsohavelow levels of
dopamine receptorsandtherefore try to shock the
braininto a boost of the chemical through new
situations. Coked-up Londonbankers also report
that they got accustomedtoacertainlevel of
Movie stars and rock singers have sparkled on it, Wall Street
bankers have traded on it. Is it the turn of Perth’s high-stakes
traders and partygoers to jump on the cocaine coach?
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