Choos­ing a new life over drugs

Western Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MAHVASH ALI

On De­cem­ber 27, 2015 she turned her­self into the po­lice.

Rox­ana Harsant and her young daugh­ter were pas­sen­gers in a car that was pulled over for speed­ing.

Her gear for smok­ing meth was in the car.

‘‘I owned up to it. I told them [po­lice] where it was and I told them it was my stuff.’’

She was ar­rested.

Af­ter Harsant pled guilty for pos­sess­ing the tools of her ad­dic­tion, the mother-of-one was sen­tenced to 12 months of in­ten­sive su­per­vi­sion.

It brought to a close over a decade of drug abuse.The very first time she took metham­phetamine, Harsant did not sleep for three days.

She was in her early 20s, liv­ing in Waipu and had a steady job.In a mat­ter of days she quit work and moved to Auck­land - some­times work­ing as a pros­ti­tute to fuel her ‘‘full-time drug habit’’.

At her worst, she could con­sume an en­tire gram of metham­phetamine on her own. But that was not her only drug habit, she had been smok­ing mar­i­juana and tak­ing other il­le­gal sub­stances all her life.

She said she grew up with ad­dicts. Harsant was a teenager when she first smoked mar­i­juana, stolen from her mother’s stash. Af­ter that, she used what­ever drugs she could lay her hands on.

‘‘I was lost and I needed to find a

‘‘I was lost and I needed to find a way home.’’

way home.’’

Now 38, Harsant has been drugfree for close to a year. When asked what the fu­ture will hold, she said she chose to live one day at a time.

‘‘For to­day I am go­ing to be clean,’’ she said.

Harsant said she had learned to re­spect her­self. She now had ‘‘true mana’’. Her pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer re­ferred her to the al­co­hol and drug unit of the Te Whanau o Wai­pareira Trust af­ter she was sen­tenced.

That’s where she met her cur­rent coun­sel­lor Diane Robin­son. Harsant, now seven months preg­nant with her sec­ond child, said the ther­a­pist helped her con­front her un­healthy past and the cir­cum­stances that led her to ad­dic­tion.

‘‘It gives you ground­ing,’’ Harsant said.

Where to get help:

Al­co­hol and drug helpline - 0800 787 797

Life­line - 0800 543 354

De­pres­sion Helpline (8am to mid­night) - 0800 111 757

Health­line - 0800 611 116 Sa­mar­i­tans - 0800 726 666

Sui­cide Cri­sis Helpline (aimed at those in dis­tress, or those who are con­cerned about the well­be­ing of some­one else) - 0508 828 865

MAHVASH ALI/FAIR­FAX NZ

Rox­ana Harsant says be­fore she quit she was sur­rounded by peo­ple and cir­cum­stances that sup­ported her habit.

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