Tackling epidemic of meth in Cooks

Wednesday May 15, 2019 Written by Published in Crime

The use of meth and other hard drugs is on the increase in the Cook Islands and it is tearing families apart. It is hurting our communities.

 Meth mayhem has not reached catastrophic proportions in the Cooks yet, but it is here – and police and health professionals say a drug crisis is on its way.

Methamphetamine is a white, odourless powder that is taken orally, by inhaling through the nose, by injection, or by smoking. It is highly addictive and chronic use alters the function of the brain, impairing motor and verbal skills.

In addition to the initial euphoria, it produces highly erratic and unpredictable behaviours such as paranoia, hallucinations, delusions and violent actions – conditions doctors define as amphetamine psychosis. When users overdose, they can suffer seizures, heart attacks or strokes, with sometimes lethal consequences.

For some people, the war on meth is really a war of words.

And sure enough, there have been a lot of words uttered about this scourge, a lot of warnings and damnations.

Politicians and law enforcement talk about it all the time; former law enforcement officers in Rarotonga have spoken out, in the past week (see Norman George, p4).

For a lot of people, that’s all the battle against meth is. They see it as a problem faced by other people, in other places. It’s an issue that doesn’t impact them personally or directly – or so they believe.

In fact, meth impacts all of us and this has become a terrible reality in the Cook Islands.

So today Cook Islands News is launching an investigative campaign dubbed The Meth Menace.

Along with articles and opinion pieces exposing the problem, we’re assembling a leadership group to ensure we’re part of the solution, advising and informing our journalists and our readers on all aspects of the meth problem.

Because this is far more than a law and order problem: it’s an important health and social challenge. So this group will include community leaders representing law enforcement, youth, church and social responders such as counsellors and medics.

In future issues of this newspaper, recovering meth users and addicts will reveal their stories explaining how they got clean, to offer hope to other users and their families.

And I am one of those recovering users.

Our aim is to look at all aspects of the meth problem with the overarching objective of providing answers.

 By John Woods,

 CI News publisher

5 comments

  • Comment Link Tereapii O Tekura Kimiora Pera Maurangi Tuesday, 21 May 2019 15:18 posted by Tereapii O Tekura Kimiora Pera Maurangi

    44 years been here in nz i have observed and learned a lot of our people now I am 60 years old.To all mothers still living today we still are responsible for our own children 1 year old to older age do not walk away and say oh that child is old enough to sort it out only gutless people will say that. our children still need us take it in your hand like in the old days use the service in your village, church,tribe meeting call for a village meeting.find out who is the dealer,seller,remove all drugs and find a way to dispose it or handed over to the law department. cannot afford to mess around all land owners the outsiders will be taking over you land if you wheel and deal with this people our people have been tamed with luxury in nz, australia best pay, best working condition so be careful. LOVE YOU ALL SEE YOU SOON.

    Regards
    Tereapii Kimiora Pera Maurangi

  • Comment Link Jason Tini Friday, 17 May 2019 16:12 posted by Jason Tini

    Good too see this UGLY DRUG and the UGLY PEOPLE THAT ARE DEALING IT AND USING IT ARE GOING TO BE NOTICED , let’s get rid of this poison and get rid of the IDIOTS THAT USE IT , DEAL IT OFF OUR SHORES ...KEEP THIS POISON OFF OUR SHORES

  • Comment Link Margareta Thursday, 16 May 2019 18:52 posted by Margareta

    Just wait until the deadly drug Fentanyl arrives on the island. Young people are dying like flies when using it.

  • Comment Link Taina Savage Thursday, 16 May 2019 17:31 posted by Taina Savage

    Be courageous CI News and John - this is truly best put out there because so many are ignorant of the damage this poison does. Go strong

  • Comment Link Nick Costantini Thursday, 16 May 2019 08:32 posted by Nick Costantini

    well done CI News and John Woods , this is a great initiative and an important role model for journalism at large.

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