Message with a melody

Former Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh touched down at Parliament yesterday to spread the anti-drug message.

Walsh, a recovering addict, is in New Zealand to talk about the risks of methamphetamine addiction.

The 56-year-old played a short set of songs to a large crowd gathered at the Beehive, and said afterwards it was important for addicts to gather as much help around them as they could.

"Recovery is possible. It takes a lot of work, but it can be done. I have a whole new life today."

He said most people who became addicted to drugs did not realise their potentially devastating consequences when they first took them.

"When you first try it there is an initial good feeling, but very soon you're addicted and you can't stop."

Walsh has said his visit is a thank-you to people who talked to him and took him to Hawkes Bay's Otatara Pa in the 1990s when he toured New Zealand with reggae band Herbs while under heavy alcohol and cocaine addictions.

He has cited the experience as the beginning of a long journey back to health, and says many of the people he met on that tour were now "friends for life".

Walsh is visiting Hawkes Bay today, and the Hoani Waititi marae in Auckland tomorrow.

- NZPA

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