Call for meth addict help
A Hokianga community health provider is calling for greater help for dealing with methamphetamine at a local level.
In August, Hokianga Health in conjunction with the Hokianga community, and Northland District Health Board, launched the Meth Free Hokianga kaupapa.
The programme is the local part of a Ministry of Health funded, $3million initiative between the NDHB and police, and Te Ara Oranga, which aims to reduce demand and decrease the number of Northlanders harmed by meth.
Hokianga Health Enterprise Trust chief executive John Wigglesworth says while Te Ara Oranga is an important step in the right direction, much more needs to be done to support meth users and their families.
‘‘Through Te Ara Oranga, we are now better supported to develop resources to assist the community but it’s the specialist treatment and rehabilitation support that is the most urgent.’’
Senior Constable Jeff Cramp of Rawene Police says the effects of meth on families is dramatic with a notable increase of the drug in the community in the last three years.
‘‘We get increased violence when we go to domestic incidents from people who are clearly under the influence [of P].
‘‘It used to be cannabis, but people could follow directions while on that drug. People under the influence of P are illogical, one minute they can be crying, the next minute they could be trying to hurt someone, so it makes it quite dangerous for everyone.’’
Cramp says there has been an increase in burglaries and other crimes as people want money to purchase meth.
‘‘These people don’t think logically, so they behave irrationally, there is spurts of family violence, kids suffer because they are going to school without being fed and living in a house where there is meth.’’
Hokianga Health’s spokesperson Hayley Paul says five hui were held throughout Hokianga where feedback was given by the community about what resources and support they require.
She says the community wanted a resource which wasn’t just a booklet, which has resulted in a poster which aims to depict a meth user’s cycle and when might be the best time to talk to them.
‘‘...We always recommend people should see their doctor or nurse in the first instance.’’