New treat­ment op­tions for meth users

Meth re­duc­tion plan

Northern News - - PLAN BEE - AN­NETTE LAM­BLY

A new pilot scheme aimed at re­duc­ing meth use in North­land kicked off on Au­gust 31.

A range of new re­fer­ral and treat­ment op­tions for meth users and their whanau will be avail­able across North­land and a team of seven po­lice of­fi­cers, headed by de­tec­tive sergeant Re­nee O’Con­nell, will hit the beat.

North­land DHB and NZ Po­lice have been funded $3mil­lion to de­liver the Te Ara Oranga Metham­phetamine De­mand Re­duc­tion strat­egy pilot. The fund­ing was made avail­able un­der the Crim­i­nal Pro­ceeds (Re­cov­ery) Act.

The joint ven­ture is tri­alling an in­te­grated model of po­lice and health ac­tiv­ity to re­duce meth de­mand by en­hanc­ing treat­ment ser­vices and in­creas­ing re­spon­sive­ness.

Po­lice in North­land are deal­ing with meth re­lated prob­lems dur­ing most shifts. It is as­so­ci­ated with crimes such as theft, fraud, poor driv­ing, vi­o­lence and episodes of fam­ily harm.

‘‘We are see­ing meth sup­pli­ers and high de­mand users trapped by the ad­dic­tive na­ture of the drug, pres­sured by the gangs and have poly sub­stance abuse,’’ says

‘‘Those of us work­ing in the drug and al­co­hol treat­ment sec­tor have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the im­pact of metham­phetamine in­creas­ingly over the past few years.’’ Jenny Freed­man

in­spec­tor Dean Robin­son.

‘‘They turn to il­le­git­i­mate means to fi­nance their ad­dic­tions and it’s im­pact­ing their part­ners, chil­dren, and wider whanau. We will be work­ing with th­ese peo­ple and re­fer­ring to treat­ment where at all pos­si­ble.’’

Meth ad­mis­sions to Ti­matanga Hou, North­land DHB’s detox unit, are now sec­ond only to al­co­hol and meth has be­come the sec­ond or third most com­mon rea­son for re­fer­ral to DHB Drug and Al­co­hol ser­vices in Tai Tok­erau.

In Oc­to­ber, the NDHB will trial a num­ber of ma­chines which will sup­port the emer­gency de­part­ments to make a quicker, $3m fund­ing for North­land Bet­ter treat­ment

Bet­ter po­lice re­sponse

more ac­cu­rate di­ag­no­sis of those pre­sent­ing with drug use. A new screen tool has also be de­vel­oped for GPs.

‘‘Those of us work­ing in the drug and al­co­hol treat­ment sec­tor have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the im­pact of metham­phetamine in­creas­ingly over the past few years,’’ says clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Jenny Freed­man.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.