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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 28 March 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 28 MARCH 2015 23 NEWS Ice burning through our youth CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 "We can't disclose names or a lot of information about what we do as we ourselves are dealing with crime syndicates, facing threats. We sometimes keep information from the teens' families, in order to protect them till they come out of the addiction and this vicious circle," Mr Mangioros continues. He believes that it is not until people come off drugs that they realise how much help they need. "When people are on drugs, especially with ice, they are all over the place. Living in denial. "When they are sober and more alert, the destructive effect of their addiction is obvious," he stresses. "It is not an overnight process. We usually deal with people from all stratas and they all need at least six months to even begin to realise this is killing them - if they even do." Jim Mangioros highlights that Australia and Melbourne are dealing with a massive epidemic, which is killing its multicultural communities first. Greek Australians are no exception. "At least 60 per cent of my cases do come from European backgrounds and sadly most are Greek and a lot of people we deal with come from good and well-off families, too. Ice is huge and everywhere," he tells. "There is a lot of ignorance and curiosity around it. It's a peer pressure thing amongst youngsters. Trying it out is 'cool', but it's highly addictive. "People take it to numb their pain, numb their life issues, but it only makes things worse," he says. Middle Eastern and Asian ice-exporting countries are targeting the Australian market, which has become the dominant 'client' since 2010. Ice is penetrating security checks and borders into Australia from 50 countries, while Australian ice users pay six times the amount of money that a gram costs in China. Dealers are massively pushing ice through urban, rural and regional communities as 60 per cent of organised criminal gangs, including bikies, are profiting from the importation, manufacture or trafficking. "The fight against ice is a matter for everyone," Justice Minister Michael Keenan Stabbing in Sydney leaves young man dead Sydney's Mascot Street became the scene of a devastating crime last Monday night, resulting in the unexpected death of 20-year-old Alex Bargiatakis. According to police, upon arrival they found two men standing close to the victim’s body, one of whom was identified as Jarrod Mitchell. Said to be a local whose home was close to the vicinity of the incident, it has been alleged that a witness heard Mitchell arguing with someone prior to the stabbing. Following the questioning of both men, police charged twenty-one-year-old Mitchell with Mr Bargiatakis' murder. Those who knew the victim were shocked at the news of his death, a close friend describing the incident as a "cowardly act". His sister Denise Bargiatakis expressed her sadness publicly on social media, writing: "R.I.P. Alex, I'll love you forever my brother. No words could ever describe the pain of losing u." The matter was scheduled to be heard in Newtown's local court on Tuesday, however, the suspected culprit did not appear. According to his lawyer, Brad Mallinson, his client is expected to apply for bail in a court appearance next week. Source: Nine News said, and his cry is far from mistaken. "I have looked after people from the age of 16 to 60 and I assure you, ice makes no discrimination," prison clinician Helen Andrianakis tells Neos Kosmos. "I keep coming across a lot of Greek girls hooked on ice who end up becoming sex-workers or strippers. Ice keeps them going, numbs them, and fries their brain - which is perfect for the brothel owners who can profit more at their expense. "However, it's not only delinquents, offenders and kids from broken homes. Not long ago, I treated a gentleman at the age of 55. He'd never touched anything in his life, until he did ice." The situation is not improving, the cases are on a constant rise and it is getting dangerous and harder for clinicians to work, according to Ms Andrianakis' experience. "Ice causes psychosis and long-term psychological damage, leading to daily violence, accidents and aggression, suicides and homicides even," she admits. "People do not realise what ice is doing to them, how degenerating and destructively chemical it is. It blows my mind what this drug does to people every single time. "People are hallucinating. I had a Greek female patient whose mother and sister died from the same addiction. She hadn't slept for six days and she was violent and uncontrollable, constantly hurting herself and became suicidal as the voices she was hearing were urging her to end her life unless she found ice." Coming from a Greek background and being a clinician for so many years, Ms An- drianakis finds the lack of Greek-speaking rehabilitation centres and shelters in Melbourne disturbing. "Considering the constantly increasing numbers of Greek Australians on ice, I'd say it's necessary," she says. "There are many newcomers from Greece, who have burned a lot of bridges along the way, facing many financial and integration difficulties, and who are therefore easily coerced into drug-use and trafficking." The landmark report con- cluded that unless the Australian government, state and territory governments work closely with non-government organisations, industry and the communities the ice market will continue to grow. However, can this case of public concern rest merely with law enforcement and government policies or are the statistics indicative of a family and educational weakness to engage effectively as this vicious enemy trail-blazes its way through all walks of this nation's life? Endless Horizons fundraiser for new centre In the spirit of Easter, charity organisation Endless Horizons will be hosting a drivethrough sausage sizzle to raise funds for the opening of a new centre. Alex Bargiatakis Currently based in Campbellfield, the husband and wife team Jim and Neda Mangioros are eager to cater to more disadvantaged youth across Melbourne, looking to open a second kids, youth and outreach centre warehouse located in Melbourne's inner north. The event aims to raise awareness about the organisation and the significant role it plays within the wider community, which includes counselling, and feeding and clothing families in need. However, they don't plan on stopping there. Following the establishment of a second centre, Endless Horizons is also planning on expanding the reach of its services to the western and eastern suburbs in the hope of mentoring and counselling a larger percentage of disadvantaged youths across Melbourne. "In the very near future we want to branch out into more programs, such as having a youth farm retreat camping facility where kids can go away on camps and hang out, with full activities," said Mr Mangioros. "Plus we want to open up a male and female drug and alcohol detox and rehab centre in the outer Melbourne country area of Victoria where there's a huge need from 18-year-olds onwards." The sausage sizzle will also feature entertainment for the little ones, with a free animal farm and face painting. Endless Horizons gets into the Easter spirit. The fundraiser will take place over two days on the Easter long weekend, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 April, 2015 at 10.30 am to 4.30 pm in the Officeworks car park, 230 Alexandra Parade, Fitzroy. To donate or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0435 931 691.
21 March 2015