I have never tried methamphetamine, and less than a week before 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. We have highlighted this on the front page of today's paper, with a story about a community hui on methamphetamine that was held in Waipukurau yesterday.

It was organised by Central Health mental health support worker Nicky Prisk, who enlisted the help of support group New Zealand 'P' Pull to host the event.

A challenge was issued 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.