Life or meth? It’s your choice.
That was the message from Mike Sabin, managing director of MethCon – a specialist company which provides drug education, advice and specific training programmes relating to methamphetamine and other addictive drugs.
He said New Zealand has the highest rate of addiction in the world and that drugs are the cornerstone of most crime.
With methamphetamine it’s much more likely to be violent crime – a meth addict is nine times more likely to murder someone than a non-addict.
The former police detective with several years in drug investigation said that laws are for the law abiding, prison is for the rest.
“It takes a community to solve social problems, laws and politicians can’t do it for us.”
Sabin’s company works with employers to help them recognise and deal with drug addiction. He said that drug problems cost the country about $10 billion a year and around half of that is in lost productivity.
Drug dealing is pyramid selling and dealers aim at middle and upper income earners because they want their money.
Sabin linked New Zealand’s high rate of child abuse to our high rate of meth addiction. Babies are born with withdrawal symptoms, they have difficulty feeding, they cry a lot and are hyperactive.
“It would be difficult enough for anyone to deal with that let alone P addicts who react with violence.”
Sabin said 35% of meth labs found by police have children living at the address and almost all suffer from the effects of toxic levels of chemicals to which they’ve been exposed.
He was scathing about the harm minimisation approach and said that we won’t get rid of the problem at the supply end. Reducing supply just increases profits for dealers. We have to cut demand to get rid of the problem.
He was supportive of getting rid of cold and flu medications which contain pseudoephodrine. Drug dealers cruise the country buying a little here and a little there then book into a motel to cook a batch of P.
Motelliers and people with rental houses should be on the look out for labs and no lightbulbs was a sign that people were smoking P.
Sabin explained how P affects the brain. His address included video footage with horrifying pictures of real addicts and the impact P had on their physical and mental health.
He said that arrogance, ignorance and apathy were enabling the P industry to flourish and that society is sending young people a message that they can’t just go out and rely on their own devices to enjoy themselves, they have to take a pill to have fun.