Help for Porirua meth ad­dicts


A lack of ser­vices means drug ad­dicts are go­ing ‘‘cold turkey’’ at home be­cause they can’t get treatment, a Porirua so­cial worker says.

Liz Makalio said peo­ple want­ing to quit metham­phetamine needed to detox, or rid their bod­ies of the drug, be­fore they were ac­cepted into re­hab - and there was no sup­port for them.

A re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence try­ing to help an ad­dict high­lighted the lack of fa­cil­i­ties for peo­ple try­ing to get clean.

‘‘There were so many brick walls in the way - there is ab­so­lutely noth­ing out there that can in­stantly help peo­ple go­ing through this.’’

Makalio and the staff at Wes­ley Com­mu­nity Ac­tion in Wai­tan­girua have launched the Porirua ‘P’ Pull to help ad­dicts get through the with­drawal pe­riod and quit the habit.

Mas­sive wait­ing lists meant ad­dicts were try­ing to detox in their own homes sup­ported by friends and fam­ily, she said.

‘‘All the ma­te­rial says that at the end of the day you need to man­age this at at home, [but] we need to gear peo­ple up for it.’’

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the NZ Drug Foun­da­tion Ross Bell agreed that ad­dicts strug­gled to get help be­cause of a lack of ser­vices and long waits.

‘‘There’s never enough treatment fa­cil­i­ties ... 50,000 peo­ple could be ben­e­fit­ing from treatment, but can’t ac­cess it.’’

Al­though metham­phetamine use in New Zealand is de­creas­ing about 40,000 peo­ple are still us­ing the drug, he said.

A spokesman for the Cap­i­tal & Coast District Health Board said it did not of­fer a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ser­vice in Porirua.

The Wes­ley team is hold­ing an open day next month where any­one, whether they’re a user or a fam­ily mem­ber, can come in for in­for­ma­tion and sup­port.

Nat­u­ral medicines in­clud­ing vi­ta­min B and kawakawa tea will be avail­able.

‘‘It’s about the with­drawal pe­riod and what fam­ily might see - eat­ing a balanced diet, get­ting flu­ids and when to call an am­bu­lance.

‘‘It’s all good to sit round talk­ing, but I’m tired of it so we de­cided to ac­tu­ally do some­thing about it.

‘‘If it works that’s great and if it doesn’t we go back to the draw­ing board.’’

The open day will be held on Septem­ber 5 from 10am till 2pm. Call 2355750 or text Lizzie 021739196.

Ross Bell, Liz Makalio and Deane John­stone say there isn’t enough sup­port for Porirua meth ad­dicts. Rem­i­nis­cences

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