Following a community hui on methamphetamine in Dannevirke on July 12, it was clear it was an epidemic not only in our area but throughout New Zealand.
"After concerns were raised at the hui, we decided to put together a team committed to supporting anyone who wants it," Fiona Watson, of the Tararua Addictions Support Network, said.
"This is a community problem and needs to be dealt with by the community."
Jocelyn Pomana, alcohol and drug service co-ordinator for Rangitane o Tamaki nui a Rua, raised awareness of the dangers of methamphetamine or P, as it is better known, and the affects it is having on the community.
"We owe Jocelyn a huge debt of thanks for her commitment to making our community aware of the problems," Fiona said.
Brendon Warne, Michael Fiti, Maryanne Rix, Gill Allardice and Whaea Ani Cribb came together initially to form a solid foundation for a working group moving forward.
"We, as a group of like-minded people, are here to support the community in any way we can. All of our time is voluntary and we are not funded in any way," Fiona said.
"We meet as a team each fortnight to discuss any further matters in a great supportive environment.
"This is a space where everyone is welcome. There is no judgment. People are free to share and talk about their journey, should they wish, openly, or listen and ask questions.
"This is for the community, by the community."
The group's first milestone comes tomorrow, September 15, at 10am to noon, with a walk-in opening at 13 Ward St.
"We have been discussing at our meetings, how and when this could happen and finally decided we needed to open the door and do it. This will continue every Friday," Fiona said.
"The walk-in days each Friday will help people gain more understanding, find support around problems they face with meth addiction and the pull it has on people.
"We owe a huge thank you to Anne Kent (manager of ARCS) for allowing us to use this space for this community initiative, it's very much appreciated."
Fiona said the team also wanted to acknowledge the tireless support they had received from Christine Grimmett.
"She is now heading back to Wairoa and will be missed," she said.
Tararua Addictions Support Network
• Walk-in opens Friday, September 15, 10am to noon.
• If you are worried about the impact methamphetamine has on you, a whanau member or a friend and would like more information about its cause, effects, or how to manage your withdrawal from it, the walk-in at 13 Ward St is for you.
• For more information phone 0211833087.