Seeing NZ on foot Māori now part of our education
to call an ambulance for his son.
James said watching on helplessly as his son was resuscitated in his own driveway was a horrific experience.
‘‘They put him on a gurney and he was thrashing and struggling so they had to sit on him so the ambulance staff could work on him. They had to resuscitate him.’’
James said his son knew he had a problem, but getting help was difficult.
‘‘I’ve tried every agency over the years.’’
When synthetic cannabis was legal, James said two of his sons started taking it, and when it was banned they both had withdrawals. ‘‘That was simply awful. ‘‘It was really ghastly stuff – the temper tantrums the violence, punching walls.’’
Since it became illegal, synthetic drugs became even worse, as there were no controls over them. ‘‘It’s the wild west.’’ James said at a community level, not enough was being done to keep young people safe.
‘‘There aren’t enough youth programs and youth transition courses are revolving doors, with nothing at the end of it.
‘‘There is little for young people who the education system has
‘‘There is little for young people who the education system has failed.’’ Don James
Manawatu mayor Helen Worboys said the council was aware of the problem and were being proactive about trying to make a change.
‘‘The bottom line is it isn’t acceptable anywhere, least of all in our community.’’
The council had recently created a youth focus group and Worboys said it met on Monday to discuss what could be done.
‘‘I asked the question ‘what can we do to help?’ We all just feel helpless.’’
The group decided the first step was to have a public meeting, bringing together police, St John and other important agencies to let people know what was happening and where they could get help.
Worboys said the group discussed going into schools around Feilding to talk to kids and try to get the message out there before they got hooked.
Plans were also being put in place to organise school holiday activities for kids to keep them engaged and entertained.
Feilding chief fire officer Bradley Shanks said the brigade had been called to a few synthetic cannabis cases in the past few weeks, since the bad batch hit the area.
Staff received training to deal with these type of callouts, he said.
Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall said there had been several deaths potentially related to the use of synthetic drugs since a public warning was issued in July.
The Office of the Chief Coroner had about 20 cases under review where synthetic drugs were a possible cause of death.
Don James is speaking out about the affect synthetic cannabis has on users.