Native Affairs – It’s meth or love

By Peata Melbourne

A UN global survey shows New Zealand is second only to Thailand on methamphetamine abuse. The drugs are regarded as a health hazard, causing loss of memory, premature decline of other mental facilities and linked to serious crime.

Palmerston North resident Keri Wilson says methamphetamine also destroys families. The mother of six says when her husband became addicted to P, pure methamphetamine it changed their lives.

"It was really bad just the abuse I would allow, lots of physical abuse through my pregnancy. I didn't want to tell anyone," says 29-year old Wilson.

Wilson's mother Joanne Te Paiho is a counsellor. She says her daughter’s husband’s addiction is putting a strain on Joanne’s relationship with her daughter.

"I've cried so much about Keri's world since last year, tears and anger both at what was going on, what was going on for the kids. To not be a part of facilitating my daughter's changes has been the most painful probably, to not be able to do anything," says Te Paiho.

Wilson and Te Paiho wanted to go public about dealing with P because they want people to know methamphetamine can affect anyone. Manuera Life Development Services Counsellor Wi Waikari. says the impact of methamphetamine affects the whole whānau.

"I think P has just intensified and heightened and magnified violence to a point now where it's very dangerous living with addicts who are constantly in a state of anxiety around where they're getting the next shot from," says Waikari.

For help with addiction call the Alcohol and Drug Helpline 0800 787 797.