Addict mum chose drugs over newborn

WHEN faced with a choice between caring for her infant child or injecting drugs, Samantha Wilson chose the drugs.

She had managed to shake her ice addiction during pregnancy but once the birth was over, the urge to return to using needles consumed her.

Ms Wilson has given insight into her former life in the hope she can convince other young people to steer away from the path she took.

The repercussions of her poor decisions still haunt her but her strong will and determination to get better ensure they will not define her.

She is making the most of the support available to alter her course towards positive outcomes such as education, employment and reuniting with her child.

The 19-year-old has a strong message for teenagers seeking out drugs and crime.

"I just want to say wake up to yourself," Ms Wilson said.

"I wish I stayed in school and never did the things I did."

Samantha Wilson.
Samantha Wilson. Contributed

She grew up in Caboolture and said bullying was a problem from a young age.

"Primary school was difficult because all the people in my class would pick on me."

She was 12 when she started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.

"I would wag school.

"I would smoke during school."

School staff would catch her smoking marijuana.

"I didn't care.

"I just wanted to fit in."

Her behaviour was a source of constant conflict with her parents, who wanted her to stay in school.

But she was still 13 when she stopped going.

"I would throw things at my mother and have massive tantrums.

"It came to a point where they said 'we can't have you here any more'."

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Ms Wilson said she was about 14 when she started to stay at older friends' places.

"It wasn't a very healthy environment for me.

"They were taking drugs and drinking."

She slept with older men for money and shoplifted food and clothes.

There were people who tried to convince her to stop that lifestyle but she couldn't be deterred.

"Me being young, I just didn't want to listen.

"I thought it was fine at the time."


Patrick Woods


MS WILSON met a man who injected her with drugs for the first time.

A friend had gone with her to a house to watch a State of Origin match.

People there were taking ice intravenously.

"I thought 'what are these guys trying? I might give it a go to experience something new'."

She had not smoked the drug before, let alone injected it.

"I felt this big rush and I felt like I wanted more.

"I just really liked it.

"It was the best feeling that I ever felt, ever."

Ms Wilson continued using ice with the man.

"He would always find my vein."

She fell pregnant when she was 16.

It came as a shock.

"My mum took it well but my dad, it took him a little while to settle into that fact."

Ms Wilson stayed with her parents, and in other houses during her pregnancy.

She said she was able to give up drugs throughout.

But she started again about a month after her child's birth in February last year.

She made a conscious decision to leave the child with a family member and return to using ice.

"I thought it was cool," Ms Wilson said.

"As long as I had something in my arm it was fine."

She was using every day.

"I liked it when I had the drugs but when I was coming down from the drugs it was horrible."

Ms Wilson learned how to inject herself and moved between houses in the Caboolture and north Brisbane area.

She saw her child three or four times during a five month period.


"I would eat once every two weeks.

"Even when I tried to eat I would vomit it up."

She would stay awake for four days at a time and was regularly hallucinating.

A particularly harrowing experience came on her 18th birthday, in October last year.

She had organised with a drug dealer to come to her parents' house to pick up a quad bike.

Ms Wilson had told the dealer she owned the bike and wanted to swap it for drugs.

But in reality, it was not hers.

"When you are an addict you do whatever you can to get drugs."

Her father interrupted them and Ms Wilson reacted violently.

She bashed him, getting him to the ground and hitting him with a torch.

"My eyes were popping out of my head.

"I was coming down from drugs and I wanted another shot."

The commotion drew her younger siblings from the home.

"My dad says 'why are you doing this', my brother was crying, my sister was crying."

Patrick Woods

The drug dealer left and the police arrived.

Ms Wilson was handcuffed and taken to the Caboolture Watchhouse.

She was let out in the early hours of the next morning.

With nowhere to go, she slept on the ground at the Caboolture Hub near the library.

Her drug taking and homelessness continued until December when a friend offered her accommodation at a Woodford property.

"I wanted to get clean."

Ms Wilson abstained for a few weeks but the arrangement didn't work out so she went back to Caboolture.

She ended up swapping a Christmas gift for drugs.

Samantha Wilson is on a path to recovery from addiction to ice.
Samantha Wilson is on a path to recovery from addiction to ice. Patrick Woods



IN FEBRUARY this year she took a more determined approach to seek help and went to Nambour General Hospital.

Her first day of rehabilitation at the WHOS Najara therapeutic community at Nambour was in March.

"I was nervous, I was scared, I was very, very broken."

She learnt how to avoid relapsing, how to talk to people and how to manage her anger.

Most importantly, she has stayed clean.

"That program has done so much for me."

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She graduated late last month.

Her parents, as well as the woman overseeing her new Nambour accommodation, were there for it.

Sharon Fergus, Director of Lily House-a temporary accommodation and crisis centre.
Sharon Fergus, Director of Lily House-a temporary accommodation and crisis centre. Patrick Woods

Lily House director Sharon Fergus said about 15 people stood up and said positive things about Ms Wilson.

"Her dad stood up and said how proud he was of her," Mrs Fergus said.

"I think the message I got from them was Sam, at the age of 18, had come off ice and she had got clean.

"It was just amazing.

"I thought 'wow, what courage, what strength and what perseverance'."

Ms Wilson has since been learning about setting goals, budgeting and parenting skills while living at Lily House.

She wants to attain her high school certificate and get a job in travel and tourism.

She visits her child and is hopeful of being properly reunited.

"I really just want to be the best mother that I can be."

She knows she still has a way to go in her recovery, but has positive outlook.

"I want to stay clean.

"I love being clean."