‘I want to fix the streets I poisoned’
‘‘Women give up meth to get their children back, men give up 'cos the women and kids leave them.’’
Maarametua Williams once robbed a bank at gunpoint while she was high on meth. These days she leads a mothers’ group.
It’s been six months since the Porirua woman told the story of her 16-year addiction and now she’s celebrating one year of sobriety.
She carries the results of a recent drug test with her, ready to prove any detractors wrong.
‘‘I’ll show it to anyone. I want everyone to see I’ve cracked it.’’
In March, Williams spoke to Stuff about her life, methamphetamine and how she eventually got clean.
Sexually abused as a child, she turned to prostitution in her teens and became addicted to meth, or P, after ‘‘trying every other drug there was’’.
First jailed for conspiracy to manufacture the drug, then for the armed robbery, Williams lost everything, including custody of her daughter.
Years later, after six failed attempts at rehab, Williams went cold turkey on her own. The fear of losing her other children was too much.
One year on, life has changed dramatically. These days she travels the country, speaking at meth hui and advising addicts and their families how to get help.
‘‘I used to poison the streets and now I want to fix them.’’
People always knew her in her hometown of Porirua City but these days she’s recognised for different reasons.
‘‘They still know me as that meth girl but now it’s in a good way.’’
Sobriety is a work in progress and Williams acknowledges she will always be an addict. She has to keep herself busy which is where the ‘‘meth mums’’ group comes in.
‘‘You know how the other girls do things like spa days? We do the same things but they’re free.’’
The women are learning how to live without drugs so try to do an activity every day - no easy feat without money.
Mondays is the walk-in at Waitangirua’s meth support group, Tuesday is counselling. The group has just scored free pool tickets and that will fill Wednesdays.
The mums are almost always in it to either prevent their kids being taken by the state or to win them back from the social agency.
‘‘Women give up meth to get their children back, men give up ‘cos the women and kids leave them.’’
Williams is now a mother of four, a son named Ta’Samuela was born on election night and he will never know a meth-addicted mother, she said.
Life is changing. It’s tough, and at times uncertain but ask her where she’ll be in another six months and she answers without hesitation.
‘‘I’ll be clean.’’
Maarametua Williams is a former methamphetamine addict, now clean for over a year. MaarametuaWilliams