It’s good not to do it because after that first taste, it’s like you want more. It takes away, to me, all my worries - because I suffer from severe depression and I was raped 3-4 months ago in Sydney by three Lebanese men, who were part of the biggest gang. They held my arms down while they smashed some Heroin into me. After that, drugs were the only thing that kept me alive.
I’ve got a funny story about my Dad from when I was younger. What he used to do, he would get pissed – he was an alcoholic when we lived up north. When he got really tanked, he would take off all of his clothes and dance, singing ‘I touch myself’. I was about seven. He would dance around the house touching himself but I got used to it and grew up looking at that.
Local street names in Perth: booze, piss, liquid lunch, amber fluid (beer), grog, alkinge, medicine.
Sacha (youth worker) - It's a dangerous drug. It's legal. It's very cultural to use it in Australia and everyone uses it.
Suzanne (youth worker) - Legal, tolerated and accepted. It causes a lot of damage, just like tobacco. But it's seen as okay, which is wrong. (Kids using it:) Oh they've got to. It writes a passage. They'll use it and people will have to accept it because if it is legal in our society, young people are going to try it to know why it's here and there's ads for this stuff all over TV, magazines . . . whatever. Of course they're going to use it, it's legal!
User 1 - You get alcohol poisoning. You get happy, you can feel any emotion like angry, sad and aggressive. Some people get horny and you walk funny. I believe you can drink yourself sober by getting alcohol poisoning and then you become sober.
User 2 - The feeling of emotion . . . when you start drinking, I think that you enjoy it but you reach a point where your body can't cope with the amount of alcohol you've taken or it can't break it down, so you lose balance, you can become quite cheery, vomity, angry, aggressive. Angry and aggressive I see with alcohol.
User 3 - I feel like I've got heaps of energy to run around or dance and then when I drink more, I need to be sick to feel better again.
Local street names in Perth: goey, go-fast, go, whiz, whipper, speed, upper, billy-whiz, fast.
Sacha (youth worker) - It has its uses and it's very useful for a lot of people in a lot of different ways. Likewise, I have concerns about it through the fact that high speed users often lead to psychosis and mental health issues and it can be really concerning.
Suzanne (youth worker) - Psychosis. I've known people who have hung themselves from using speed for days and just came down, they couldn't cope with it. It really affects people's moods and mental outlook at times, so a high is a high and a low's are real low and with crystal meth and ice coming through, I see that as a really bad drug that people are going nutty off the shit and so speed would be more of an issue than heroin because heroin in its purest form, is not as bad in terms as what it's mixed with, the chemical compound of it, so for me . . . heroin is safer and in a sense cleaner than things like speed which can be made in backyards and stuff like that. Speed is much more dangerous. (Today's youths using more speed than heroin:) Two years ago, there was a lot of heroin in Perth. It was on the streets pretty heavily and we had a serious spate of deaths from that. I think the availability of heroin from what I hear and know, is that you can still get it but it's a lot more closed. There isn't so much of that influx of that being on the street, where as speed has picked up in that market so there's much more of that available. I just think it's due to the availability of certain drugs which makes them popular at a time.
User 1 - I can't stay in the same spot for more than five minutes. I say a thousand words a minute and you just can't stay still. You want to talk to everyone.
User 2 - I feel relaxed. Half the relaxation is hollowed out. Bang . . . you've got to move. How can I get the money for more, is the first thought on your mind. Time flies, especially when you have sex.
User 3 - It depends on the quality of it but it can be a slow come-on or a quite a fast one where things just speed up. You feel nervous in your tummy, with like all drugs, you feel a bit nervous and as long as you take it in the right situations . . . it's quite therapeutic.
Benzodiazepines (Valium, Temarzipan, Serepax etc)
Local street names in Perth: Benzos, temazzies, vallies, serries.
User 1 - Just a feeling of relaxed, a really relaxed emotional state where you don't really give a shit about anything, but you can have a car hit you and you'd be okay with it kinda stuff. Really floppy and everything feels okay. You're not stressed.
User 2 - Temazipan – I shot it up 12 times and it doesn’t do shit.
User 3 - I don’t know, I can’t remember. I just can’t remember anything I do.
Local street names in Perth: horse, E's, eccie, bikkies, tabs, love drug.
User 1 - It felt like shit. At first, it’s pretty wicked (cool) but then you’re hanging out and you feel like shit and you want more.
User 2 - You feel like shit and you just get worse and worse as you come down.
User 3 - You raise your arm in the air because you're the champion of the world. Euphoric!
Local street names in Perth: horse, E's, eccie, bikkies, tabs, love drug.
Sacha (youth worker) - I think Ecstasy is very much a recreational drug. It seems to be taken by people, largely on the weekends to go out dancing and having fun. I think it's also quite dangerous as well. It does have its concerning things. It's an illegal drug so it's made by people in backyard labs, who knows what they're putting in it etcetera etcetera! I have concerns about it because it can be quite dangerous for your body and people have some really bad effects from that. Some people have died using it as well.
Suzanne (youth worker) - Recreational drug use. A lot of people use it. A lot of people who work use it. I don't know if the younger people use it quite as much in a sense because I don't know if it's still one of those club drugs.
User 1 - I just see heaps of things. It's like a trip, you see heaps of colours, you wanna have sex, you feel horny and you feel everything. You just feel happy until you come down.
User 2 - It ranges from a slow coming on to feeling your heartbeat go faster and faster, building up to a very euphoric state. Very happy. Visual effects, emotional effects, body, physical, touching, hugging, sniffing fix.
User 3 - All it did for me, was make everything bright. For a lot of people, it turns them on but it didn't happen for me.
Local street names in Perth: horse, hammer, slow, smack, pk, packet, h, harry, downer, gear, dope, junk, snow, opium poppy.
Sacha (youth worker) - Heroin is obviously a useful drug. People obviously get a lot from using it. Medically, there are a lot of uses for it. I think it is a very dangerous drug because it's so easy to overdose on and it's so easy to contract blood borne viruses from. I have concerns in that respect.
Suzanne (youth worker) - I have lost friends from heroin. I understand why they've taken it because they are in a sense, dulling their pain. From growing up, bad things have happened. And sometimes, they just slowly start to use it because their friends have used it and then they become addicted to it and you know . . . I've seen the effects of it. Heroin for me is more of a health issue than a police issue. But we need to understand like, I'm addicted to cigarettes. People become addicted to heroin, speed and all the rest of it. So it's like heroin is not the big evil, . . . it kills people, quickly but it's not the big evil it's made out to be. Alcohol and cigarettes are just as bad. Slower, but just as bad. There's a whole sort of beat up about heroin which I think is just hysteria to a point.
User 1 - H works like a thousand cones at once. It puts you in a relaxed mood and makes you mellow out for four to five hours. It depends on how good the gear is.
User 2 - Bang! Big rush, overflowing all your entire body and your mind. You feel very affected and then everything's very slow. It slows down and you feel kinda floppy but good. And then it's sort of a noddy experience where you sort of drift in and out of consciousness.
User 3 - At first it's like a fast rush, then when you look around, it starts to go slow, from your head downwards and then you feel at peace and some people nod off.
Local street names in Perth: acid, trips, double dipped.
User 1 - You get paranoid and you hallucinate. You basically see things. LSD is what a person sees. What is going through your head is what you see but not all the time.
User 2 - It's really a heightening of all your senses, so you vision . . . mostly your vision senses things you can have, like flowers will look very interesting. So your view changes to your looking at small minute things. Sometimes when you're in big spaces, it's too much, you can't cope with that. You don't know what's happening. There's a disorientation with your surroundings and with your own workings, things are fragmented. It's total distortion.
User 3 - LSD is probably one of the most confusing drug there is, probably because you're hallucinating all the time.
Local street names in Perth: gunja, grass, green, green grass of home, reefer, wacky weed, wacky backy, head, stick, pot, mull, spliff, dope, weed.
User 1 - I get paranoid, hungry and tired. I sit back and relax. Some people get horny but some people don't want to do much. I get schizophrenic.
User 2 - Good stress relief, immediate impact when you use it, a distortion of your reality in a sense . . . you get hungry. Munchies!
User 3 - I get really weak and I'm unable to do anything like simple tasks like brushing my hair or pouring a drink.
Solvents (petrol, paint, glue)
Local street names in Perth: sniff, sniffers.
Sacha (youth worker) - Likewise it is very concerning. Sniffing is a real worry.
Suzanne (youth worker) - Horror! There's also an understanding that it is relieving something from that young person and any person really. Drug use is basically suppressing some trauma or pain.
User 1 - When I first learnt to sniff, I felt really good and then after 15 minutes, I pass out and when I wake up, I’ve got paint all over me.
User 2 - On top of the world! Like I can do anything because I’m used to it and I can keep it under control. I used to black out.
User 3 - It's alright but the smell's in you for awhile. Silver paint’s the best.