Opinion: Politicians need to wake up to methamphetamine problem

By Andrew Austin

New Zealand's spiraling P problem is something politicians need to wake up to, says Andrew Austin. Photo/file
New Zealand's spiraling P problem is something politicians need to wake up to, says Andrew Austin. Photo/file

I have never tried methamphetamine, and near my 50th birthday, I have no intention of doing so.

In fact, I don't think I would have had any inclination at any stage of my life.

It is illegal, it is morally wrong, it is not my thing and I have heard too many horror stories. I am lucky I have had that choice.

I am also fortunate that no one close to me has ever been hooked on the drug.

However, I do know families who have been torn apart by this ghastly evil.

It is not only the addict whose life can be destroyed, but the drug's tentacles can spread negativity and poison to everyone close to that person.

Unfortunately it is something that is spreading through our communities.

At first, the only time we heard about it was when the perpetrator of a violent crime was found to have been hooked on P.

Now, there is a growing movement of people whose lives have been damaged by the drug - be it personally or through a loved one.

It is these people who are the heroes - the ones that are speaking out against it.

There is a challenge to political parties to invest in prevention and education to deal with the problem.

It is something our politicians, in an election year, should take seriously. The eradication of this scourge should be a top priority of the Government and our community leaders - before it is too late.

The Skin Centre Trust Charity Ball, to be held on May 13 at ASB Arena, is raising money for a project aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of methamphetamine use.

Themed A Night In Venice, organisers say the night aimed to raise more than $100,000 for three local charities which would include funds for education for young people about methamphetamine.

- Additional comment Annemarie Quill

- Bay of Plenty Times

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