'They don't see what they really look like': Derryn Hinch gets an 'Ice-makeunder'

Sunday Night

Derryn Hinch has seen first hand what it’s like to ‘throw your life away’ on ice.

As part of his investigation into life addicted to the drug, Hinch underwent an ‘ice makeover’ to see first hand what addiction would do to his face.

Derryn Hinch 'ON ICE'
Derryn Hinch 'ON ICE'

Hinch stepped up to try out app Ice Effex, which shows users how the drug could impact them long term, first hand.

“It's spooky,” he said.

“The scary thing about Ice addicts, and I have met a few now, is they don't seem to see the scabs and the damage, they don’t see the rotted teeth.”

“It's like anorexia, they don't see what they really look like.”

During his interview with the self-professed “casual” ice user the man began smoking the drug with Hinch saying he found the experience to be “very sad”.

An app shows users what their faces would look like after long term ice use.
An app shows users what their faces would look like after long term ice use.

"He really is doing all that and thinking he is going out and having fun," Hinch said.

"He's a young man and he's destroying his life."

A couple has used their life savings to create the app, which they hope will alert the selfie-obsessed generation about the dangers of ice use.

Homelessness support workers Haydn Cooke and Trinity Lonel used the $40,000 they had set aside to buy a home to create ‘Ice Effex’ after witnessing the impact of the drug firsthand.

"The devastation and cost that one user has on a family and a community is huge," Haydn Cooke said.

"Even if [the app] saves one kid or a couple of kids it will have been worth it."

Cooke has witnessed the explosion in ice use during his time working at the at Victorian regional Odyssey House rehab clinic.

He said he said he got the idea for targeting the app – which manipulates a ”selfie” taken by the user to show them how they would degenerate while using the drug – from his 16 and 13-year-old children.

"To sit with my son and say 'eat your vegies, it's good for your insides', they don’t give a stuff about that, they care what they look like," he said.

"It's a really big deal to them at that age.

"We definitely involved them in the design because our target audience is 13 to 20-year-olds."

Launched in September the app digitally enhances an image taken or uploaded by the user to show the effect of ice use on the face after three, six and 12 months.

It also provides medical information about what is happening under the surface during this time.

Hinch felt the app was a good start in deterring people from using the drug.

"The more we can educate kids the less chance there is they will start, that's key."

Haydn works with the Odyssey House Circuit Breaker program in rural Victoria which provides a six-week, live-in rehabilitation program for people affected by alcohol and drug addiction.

The program accommodates 15 adults and aims to help people end cycle of substance abuse but is only a short-term solution.

The app so far has about 1500 downloads, many of the users are students he has shown the app to in schools.

He says he would love for the app to be shown in all schools as a deterrent to methamphetamine use.

"It is about prevention and it has to start early."