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