Routine can get boring. The nine to five grind is exactly that - a grind - but the fact is, when you have to work, routine is mostly unavoidable.

We all do what we need to do to break up the monotony. Some people drink coffee to get that little rush. Some people play video games. Some people go skydiving on the weekends.

And some people - more people than you might suspect - take methamphetamine.

On Saturday, the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend reported on the rising use of methamphetamine both in the region and nationally. It has been described by experts as an "epidemic", with some treatment centres saying that P is now the primary substance for which people are seeking help. Another story revealed the toll addiction can take.


It's all very well trying to fund more beds in treatment centres for recovering addicts, but approaching the issue of methamphetamine use like this is a bit like taking paracetamol when you have a headache - masking the symptoms but not actually getting to the root of the problem.

In order to find a solution we have to ask where, as a society, are we failing in such a way that more and more people feel the need to take P in the first place? Is it in order to have a good time, or to cope with the stresses of daily life?

Experts say there is now a wide range of people across society using P and seeking treatment for addiction. It is not a matter of wealth or education - nurses, lawyers and businesspeople are amongst those that have recently sought treatment.

A particularly worrying trend that has arisen is the number of mothers using. Salvation Army national director of addiction services Lieutenant Colonel Lynette Hutson says in the Bay of Plenty there are currently three times as many females presenting for treatment compared to males. Of these women, 80 per cent are pregnant and all have partners who are in prison, says Hutson.

It is clear from the varying types of people using that the reasons to begin are also varied, but we need to work to uncover them, and any trends, in order to tackle the root of the problem. Just treating the symptoms won't do.