Two former addicts were described as brave and courageous as they shared their meth journey at a public meeting in Dannevirke.

Michael said his addiction ripped his family apart.

"In 2003 I lost my kids to CYF and spent all my money on meth and wouldn't go home for eight or nine days at a time.

"I was chasing the dragon, but when I lost my kids, I did a drug and alcohol programme.

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Three years later Michael's children came home.

"That was the biggest high for me," he said.

Before his addiction took hold, Michael was a top rugby and rugby league player.

"I fell off the rails because of my addiction," he said.

"Ask for help, it's okay."

Brendon tried P for the first time in 1998.

"I had no money in my pocket, no food in the cupboards," he said.

"There is an epidemic here and I'm a big part of bringing it here.

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"I know all the ways people can get pseudoephedrine. Our bros need help."

Brendon said since a six-day anti-P hikoi from Cape Reinga to Waitangi in February this year, he hadn't smoked P.

"And I won't again," he said.

"I'm not here to judge. I could have lost my family any time.

"I've had my door kicked in, had guns in my house, but I've no one to blame but myself.

"There's going to be heat, but we need to talk, open up and get this off our streets."

Now clean and with a young child, Brendon is desperate to find work.

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Another recovering addict, 25 years clean, told the meeting people needed to see beyond the addiction.

"The journey is long and tedious," she said.