So last time we talked about Meth abuse of children. We talked about how the users of meth and the p cooks “know” what they are doing to those around them. They “know” that it is bad for them and those they surround, but the “high” they get from the use drives them to simply “forget” everything else.
Now let’s talk about a practical approach to combat this abuse.
Police stats show a decline in apprehensions of methamphetamine. (Source)
Youth Drug Services clinics show a decline in referrals. (Source)
For the police stats, (possession of methamphetamine) you’ve got to catch someone (have it on their person or property) with the drug to apprehended them. The fact is that the meth gets used within a short space of time when the user obtains it. It gets smoked very quickly.
The user is so addicted that once they have the drug in their possession, the desire, the reward of getting high, drives them to use quickly. You cannot “catch” someone for possession if they do not have the drug on them. Instead, it’s been used and is “in” them. Whilst there is also a charge for “use” it is infrequently applied as the expense of proving the “use” is difficult involving costly blood tests and scientific analysis.
And the Youth Drug Services are seeing a downturn, or less attendance, at their clinics because the meth users don’t want to get clean. It oftentimes takes an extreme event in their life to override the massive desire for the dopamine hit that using meth gives them. Simply put, the reward outweighs the desire to get clean.
Ok. Let’s tackle a big issue. Perhaps the biggest issue. So, in our line of work, we are in homes that have had a meth lab in it or in homes that has or have had meth users in it. The sad part of our work is that those homes that we go into and find meth in, we also often find children.
Yep. Children. And Meth. Together.
I remembered reading an article from November (2016) where a couple were injecting their children with heroin. Uh huh. Injecting their own children with heroin.
Whilst that’s not something you see everyday. For us, in our line of work, we see children living in drug contaminated conditions and therefore exposed to drugs all the time.
Meth is pervasive. It contaminates everything it touches. Every surface. It penetrates porous surfaces and ‘sticks’ to non-porous. It will remain in clothing, on carpets, on tables, chairs, couches, you name it, it’s on it. Children touching these surfaces then go onto eat food with meth on their hands, or, worse still, eat food that was directly exposed to meth vapour. The P contamination can take a long time to go through their system and the damage done could be irreparable.
Our last blog talked about Meth and drug Crime in your neighbourhood, for this blog we want to talk to you about dealing with meth. No, that’s not Dealing Meth.
This is definitely not the blog for that. I’m talking about dealing with the fall out of the Meth epidemic, dealing with the consequences of family and friends falling victim to its insidious grasp, and dealing with the stigma that is attached with the meth user or the P cook or even a township.
Ngaruawahia is one such township that has fallen victim to meth. Not in the sense that the town is rife with users, not that there are innumerable P cooks (there were only 14 according to locals), but in the sense the township now has a stigma attached to it.
Yes, Ngaruawahia is the township that couldn’t deal with its Meth problem, so a local gang member did.
In our last blog we said that the Tribal Huks had done Ngaruawahia a favour by clearing out the Meth dealers and well, what a difference a few days makes.
SO, one person decided to act without the consent of the community.
That one person did not represent the best interests of the community.
And that one person did not act with the blessings of the community either.
The gang member (read: whole gang?) essentially acted as a Vigilante. The very definition of Vigilantism is “a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate.”