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All About Addiction

Two-time world surfing champion Tom Carroll spent the better part of a decade battling his ice addiction. He and his brother Nick recount his journey in a new autobiography – learn Tom’s recovery story and how sobriety is possible for you, too.

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  • “It was an incredibly powerful piece of information for me. This disease of addiction goes way back.”
  • How two-time world champion surfer Tom Carroll beat his ice addiction.

As distant as Carroll’s particular circumstances might feel, his story will be a familiar one to many of us. Tom’s relationship with meth started innocently enough – he used it as a social lubricant of sorts, helping him to “loosen up and connect.” His use remained casual at first, but quickly became a crutch that he relied upon in order to feel comfortable in social situations. Before he knew it, he needed ice to function – he was addicted.

In many publicised stories of meth abuse, this is where the story ends. Ice addiction makes the news, but ice addiction recovery falls short of the front page.

Luckily, Carroll’s story doesn’t end there – he got treatment and has now been in recovery for 10 years. His story goes to show that recovery is absolutely possible – and there is hope for you.

A Brother’s Journey

Tom Carroll and his brother Nick – who are co-writing an autobiography on the subject – opened up about Tom’s journey through ice addiction and recovery in a recent interview with 60 Minutes.

Carroll, who is hailed as one of the greatest surfers of all time, did his first line of cocaine at 18 years old, following his sister’s death just before his competition in the Australian Open.  A naturally shy guy, he came to realise that cocaine and ecstasy took away his social anxiety and made him feel better able to talk to people.  In 2002 Tom started using ice, which quickly became his drug of choice. “I felt this insidious need to take more of it,” he says.  “I’d only have to take a little bit of it, at the beginning, and it’d last for a long time.  I was at a point where I had to use every day to be functional.”

But the honeymoon period didn’t last long.  Soon Tom became strung out and paranoid: “I was completely manic and my response to everything was fearful and I was crazy.  I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off, like you do on amphetamines.”

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Turning it Around

Nothing – including his three children – seemed to be able to stop Tom’s ice addiction, and he continued using for years.  But by 2006, he was depleted.  Says Tom, “For me, I just felt so hollow, emotionally.  I wasn’t connected to anyone anymore other than the drug.”  He checked himself into rehab later that year.

Around the same time, Nick accessed their mother’s medical records in an attempt to learn more about her life.  “It was really dark material,” the older brother reports.  “She’d been a drug addict.  She’d had multiple drug addiction issues, and chief among those was amphetamines. As soon as I read that I kind of saw the pathway that had happened here… at least part of it.”

Suddenly, the larger picture began to come into focus.  Tom recalls what a significant role this discovery played in his understanding of his addiction: “It was an incredibly powerful piece of information for me.  This disease of addiction goes way back, and it’s no wonder that my first response to an amphetamine was, ‘Ah, that’s right.  That feels right.’”

It should come as no surprise, as genetic risk factors play a major role in addiction.  Empowered with the knowledge of his past and the unwavering support of his brother, Tom was ultimately able to turn his life around.  He now enjoys honest, healthy relationships with his daughters and new partner in Sydney.  He credits his recovery with saving his life.

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Meth Recovery is Possible

While ice is highly addictive and getting clean from it sounds like a daunting prospect, there is evidence to suggest that addiction recovery rates for ice are about the same as for other drugs. Some research even reports a higher-than-average meth recovery rate of 60% after six months.

All of this is to say: you can benefit every bit as much from meth addiction treatment as an addict of any other kind – there is no evidence to indicate that your brain has undergone significant, irreversible damage. Just like Tom Carroll who thought he had lost everything to addiction, you are in fact fully capable of recovery.

Get Sober From Ice Today

Getting sober is most successful when done with professional help.  The Cabin Melbourne offers a highly effective addiction treatment programme in a convenient outpatient setting designed to accommodate your schedule, as well as fast-tracked access to our residential rehab facility, The Cabin Chiang Mai.  Our well-rounded treatment method includes various therapeutic techniques to get to the root of your addiction and boasts a 96% completion rate.  If you are ready to start living the life you want, contact us today to find out about treatment options.

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