MOVING ON: Ashley Bottrell, 28, was addicted to ice for almost 10 years and is now moving on.
MOVING ON: Ashley Bottrell, 28, was addicted to ice for almost 10 years and is now moving on. Eliza Wheeler

Ice addict turns his ‘shattered’ life around

ASHLEY Bottrell's world has been torn apart by ice, but he is now starting to pick up the pieces.

Growing up in a strongly religious family down in Brisbane, Ashley started taking illicit drugs, mostly marijuana as a teenager and found himself in jail by the age of 19 for drug-related offences.

After getting out of jail the first time, Ashley's mental state began to spiral downwards.

To help him cope with the stress of working and taking care of a family one of Ashley's friends convinced him to try ice, and it soon took over his life.

"Then it got out of hand," Ashley said.

"It just tears your life apart. I would do anything violence-wise to get it."

He said being on ice was like "being in a movie."

"You just feel like you can do anything," he said.

"You feel like a super hero and you don't have to stop. I would go a week without sleep and you wouldn't eat.

"Last time I went to jail I weighed 70kg and I'm six-foot-six so that wasn't good."

It was when he faced spending 10 years behind bars, that his family sent him up to Bayside Transformations, where he has spent the last 15 months getting sober and putting his life back together.

"The first two weeks you're in lockdown," he said.

"The program is a minimum of three months and the longer you're there the more trust and responsibilities you get."

Ashley has now been sober for almost a year-and-a-half and now wants to help others who are going through similar journeys.

"I put my family through hell," he said.

"My partner left me and after putting her through six years of hell I can understand why."

He said he is working on improving his relationship with his 5-year-old daughter. Ashley will stay on at Bayside Transformations as a program coordinator now that he has graduated.



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