ICE ADDICT: I was hooked after one hit

WHEN Courtney Letcher took that first hit of ice 10 years ago, she had no idea it would lead to a life of dealing drugs, being homeless and watching her friend being threatened with a gun.

Now 27, the recovering ice addict has been working through the rehabilitation program at Bayside Transformations in Hervey Bay.

Courtney had been using illicit drugs since she was 15, to cope with a traumatic incident that happened to her as a teenager.

She tried ice for the first time at a friend's house when she was 17, living in Melbourne.

"I took it like I would take speed; I smoked it in a pipe," Courtney said.

"It was 100 times better [than speed], it made you feel the same way, but it was a lot more intense."

Courtney said she was hooked after her first hit.

"But it got to a point where I was using it every morning and I wanted it when I was at work," she said.

RECOVERING: Courtney Letcher, 27, used ice for almost 10 years before getting help at Bayside Transformations.
RECOVERING: Courtney Letcher, 27, used ice for almost 10 years before getting help at Bayside Transformations. Eliza Wheeler

Courtney started sleeping on people's couches, moving from place to place and feeding her addiction. That was when she started dealing.

"I was at a friend's house where we would deal from, and a debt collector came through and did a 'run-through'; they took almost everything she owned and held a gun to her head at one point," she said.

"It got to a point where we were with people who weren't just dealing ice, but were dealing guns too."

For Courtney, the breaking point of her addiction came when she had a mental breakdown.

"I was screaming that I wanted my life to end, that I had no reason to live," she said.

"The last time I used drugs was June 6, 2015," she said.

RELATED STORIES: Ice problem on the Fraser Coast

ICE: 12 year olds using meth on the Fraser Coast

VIDEO: How to help the Fraser Coast kick its ice habit

In February, Courtney was moved from a rehab centre in Surfers Paradise to Bayside Transformations.

"It took four months of rehab before I actually realised I needed help, it took that long to get those feelings back," she said.

"That drug takes away your heart and your morality."

Courtney is now looking forward to a future of helping people.

"I want to work with people who have been through similar experiences," she said.

"Or maybe go overseas and work with orphans, I'm not too sure."