A 32-year-old woman hooked on P for several years warns of a "meth movement" rife in the region, revealing a New Zealand, "that most people wouldn't even imagine existed."

Overseas travel, high-class hotels and earnings of $3000 a week became the norm for Alice when after a Christian upbringing, she "rebelled", starting working as a Tauranga escort and began to inject and smoke meth, spiralling her into "a dark dungeon, chained to the pipe and sitting in darkness".

Fast-forward a few years and her life outwardly seemed glamorous - she lived in an upmarket residence in Mount Maunganui and as a high-end escort enjoyed the company of "private wealthy clients from the business world".

Taking several grams of P a week, she liked that it helped her be slim, and believed meth was her "best friend".

Advertisement

"At first it made me feel good, made me good at the job and made me look good. I didn't believe the stories about it, I thought I was fine."

Despite making thousands a week, she was spending half of it on methamphetamine, and often had no money at the end of the week.

Her prolonged drug use started to affect her mental health, with bouts of drug-induced paranoia.

"I started to believe I was being filmed or bugged. I know it sounds crazy but I thought I had stuff planted in my hair or under my skin. I would dig under my skin with a knife, bleeding so much I had to go to hospital.

I would pick dots out my hair ... once I turned up at the police station with bits of skin and hair, put it on the counter as evidence people were bugging me. They referred me to the hospital but I totally believed it."

As the drug took hold of her, her paranoia increased and her life fell apart. She moved out of her apartment and started living in motels, then on the streets, sleeping in cemeteries.

The lowest point she said was when she thought a client was taking her on a date to an upmarket restaurant - instead, he drove her across town and pulled a gun on her.

Alone in a flat, she began to rent as part of a supported living centre, one morning she woke and felt a jolt to the brain and hit the floor violently. "I felt my brain fizz again and I lost control of my arm and my leg."

The hospital told her she had had two seizures brought on by meth. It was a wake-up call to her and she called her parents.

Moving away from Tauranga was the only way Alice could escape properly from the scene and she has now been clean for two years.

"Being addicted to meth was like having a bicycle with training wheels on. You don't know what it is like to ride without them. I had to learn to live again, to live a normal life. I got a normal job in a cafe."

She is now speaking out in support of others who may be going through similar addiction to P, working as a disability support worker and speaking recently at a workshop.

She wants to warn others that meth is never something that you can "just try", and that there are no "happy endings".

"Meth had become my god but I was starting to see it was lying to me and I was so stupid to believe it was my friend.

"For a long time, I had thought I was a lucky, intelligent user ... that the paranoid freaks and fears wouldn't come visit me.

"That is who meth is though. If you were friends with a musician you cannot know them without the guitar.

"You can't touch meth without touching the violence that will go with it. It will make you high but it will also bring you lower ... so you wish you were dead ... behind the scenes you will see its wake of destruction."

Alice attributes her newfound freedom to faith in God. She has written a book manuscript describing her experience and hopes to get it professionally published one day.

Alice's mother said, "As parents, we were always there to help her but it wasn't until she herself decided to get out that she could. It was pretty ugly, and while we did not condone what she was doing we were there for her. But in the end, she had to decide herself to get out completely".

The Bay of Plenty Times Weekend sighted medical documents that reference her battled with methamphetamine.