Call for meth ad­dict help

The Bay Chronicle - - OUT & ABOUT - BAYLEY MOOR

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.’’

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