From tomorrow, 31 August, a range of new referral and treatment options for methamphetamine users and their whānau will be available across Northland and a team of seven police officers focused on reducing methamphetamine harm and supply will hit the beat.
Northland DHB and NZ Police have been funded $3m to deliver the Te Ara Oranga Methamphetamine Demand Reduction strategy pilot. The funding was made available under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act.
The joint venture is trialling an integrated model of Police and Health activity to reduce methamphetamine demand by enhancing treatment services and increasing responsiveness.
Police in Northland are dealing with methamphetamine related problems during most shifts. It is associated with crimes such as theft, fraud, poor driving, violence and episodes of family harm. Methamphetamine is impacting at all levels, and increasingly Police are seeing the impact it is having on our children and young people.
“What we are seeing is methamphetamine suppliers and high demand users are trapped by the addictive nature of the drug, pressured by the gangs and have poly substance abuse,” notes Inspector Dean Robinson, NZ Police.
“They turn to illegitimate means to finance their addictions and its impacting their partners, children, and wider whānau. We will be working with these people and referring to treatment where at all possible.”
Methamphetamine admissions to Timatanga Hou, Northland DHB’s detox unit, are now second only to alcohol and methamphetamine has become the second or third most common reason for referral to DHB Drug and Alcohol services in Tai Tokerau.
“Those of us working in the Drug & Alcohol treatment sector have been experiencing the impact of methamphetamine increasingly over the past few years,” said Jenny Freedman, Clinical Psychologist.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to provide a timelier and comprehensive range of evidence based treatments for people who use methamphetamine and also support their whānau who are affected by their drug use.”