Parkhurst residents have dealers next door says addicts' mum
ROCKHAMPTON mum Daphne Finnegan knows of at least three drug dealers who live and deal drugs out of the Parkhurst area alone.
She sat amazed by the "ignorance” at the community consultation forum for the Rockhampton residential rehab facility at CQUniversity on Thursday night.
"All these people have this fear but I don't think they know what a drug addict is,” Daphne said.
"All they see is what's on tv, but those in rehab are already detoxing.”
The crowds at the forum were passionate and at times hostile. They yelled their concerns from the audience, scared for their safety and the dangers they claimed would become a reality if the rehab centre was located in Parkhurst.
A local detective addressed the forum from his personal experience. He said he wasn't speaking on behalf of the police force but he was concerned about the repercussions the rehab centre would create.
He said drug dealers would linger outside the centre to sell drugs to people in rehabilitation.
The comment drew cheers from the crowd but was refuted by panellists who said residential rehabilitation centres operated differently to the community-based programs he referenced.
Queensland Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies Ltd chief executive and panel member Rebecca Lang said patients would not have the opportunity to source drugs outside the centre.
"These are structured programs, every minute from the time they get in is monitored,” Ms Lang said.
"They are drug-tested at least once a week.”
The only way patients could leave the centre was if they discharged themselves and if they did they would be driven out - they would not be allowed to simply walk out onto the streets.
Daphne was glad to hear from the panellists but wished they were given more of an opportunity to explain.
"I've never been in room, so full of self entitlement and rude people who let no one speak,” Daphne said.
"I hope their loved one never makes a bad choice because one day they may wished they listened and not been so ignorant.”
She has experience with drug abuse in both her professional and private life. She said the misconceptions needed to be set straight.
"Drug dealers don't lurk in the shadows at rehab centres - that's just fearmongering at its best,” she said.
She said there were multiple drug dealers who operated out of Parkhurst homes and their customers travelled to them.
Daphne has three sons battling with drug addictions and has since become qualified in drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
With her sons' connections, Daphne has a rare insight into Rockhampton's drug world.
She said she knew most of Rockhampton's young people affected by drugs and communicated with them regularly.
"I leave literature everywhere saying 'when you need help I'm right here',” she said.
Daphne made the news three years ago for a controversial decision to turn her son's bedroom into a secured cage to confine him to the walls while he detoxed from drugs.
But her son Wiley isn't the only person she's helped. She has helped others detox within the suburb of Parkhurst.
"When they're coming down you don't see that aggression. They sleep for days,” Daphne said.
"When they're on the gear they are aggressive.”
She said the fact people had already used a Parkhurst location to detox from drugs, without the knowledge of residents, meant they had no reason to worry about the rehab centre.
She hoped people would stop delaying the drug rehabilitation centre process to help addicts in need as soon as possible.