A hard-hitting public talk on the dangers posed by methamphetamine, or P, will take place at Orewa Community Centre, Orewa Square, Orewa on Monday, July 9 at 7pm.
The talk, called Not Even Once – Saying No to Meth will be delivered by former police drug squad detective Dale Kirk, who now runs workplace drug education company MethCon.
He says the Orewa talk, which is one of a series, is the first time MethCon has taken its message to a public audience, in a bid to increase community awareness and minimise apathy and complacency.
“There’s been a massive increase in meth convictions in the regions, it’s not just confined to big cities and areas you might consider to be high risk,” he says.
“A head-in-the-sand mentality is not the answer, it’s about schooling yourself up so you know all you can and can identify indicators. It’s a completely different drug to anything else.”
Police are not able to supply figures for local drug busts without an Official Information Act request, but say they see the fallout of meth addiction in many areas of their work.
Rodney area commander, Inspector Bruce O’Brien says the drug is a driver of crime.
“My staff regularly attend incidents of family harm, mental health or burglary that are fuelled by methamphetamine,” he says. “There is a misconception that P is only an issue in low socio-economic areas, but in fact it affects every community.”
He says he has seen first hand the heavy toll the drug takes. “I like the message of this talk – Not Even Once – because unfortunately people try P on a recreational basis and it ruins their life.”
“Our community needs to step up and report people who are dealing, and assist family or friends who are addicts into treatment. It’s an extremely hard drug to come off and addicts need professional help. There are a lot of services available and talking with Police or your GP is a start.”
Mr Kirk says his Orewa presentation will be extremely visual and hard hitting to show the real truth behind meth and the dangers it poses.
“You will laugh, you may cry, you could be horrified, but you will definitely be enlightened by the experience. This is an ‘eye opener’ like no other.”
He says MethCon’s ultimate goal is to eliminate the demand for drugs.
“We believe that the key to reducing the harm to society from drugs such as P relies as much on focusing on demand as much as supply. In other words, provide people – particularly young people – with accurate information about drugs so that they naturally choose not to use. Take away demand and supply will reduce accordingly.”
Tickets cost $20 for adults and $12 for youths aged 13 to 18. Bookings can be made at www.methcon.co.nz/events