New Zealand an attractive target for cartels in war against meth

By March 9, 2020 Recent News

Stuff 10 March 2020
Family First Comment: “We need to continue to disrupt the organised crime group and take their assets. We need to demonstrate to these organisations that organised crime activity won’t be tolerated in New Zealand, and it is simply not worth it. But on the other end we need to work with our communities to address the problem of addiction.” – Detective Constable Blair MacDonald, manager of the National Drug Intelligence Bureau (NDIB).
Exactly, but don’t legalise it. That would be a public health and societal disaster.

Almost 1.8 tonnes of methamphetamine was seized in New Zealand last year, yet the drug continues to dominate the illicit substance abuse market. Are we losing the war against meth? MARINÉ LOURENS reports.

“I didn’t even know what meth was until family members introduced me to it. They were dealers and they were like, ‘You have to try this!’ I guess it was peer pressure. And when I tried it, it was really good. At first I didn’t think I was addicted, but then I started using more and more.”

Melanie* was 33 years old when she first used methamphetamine. What was first a novelty quickly became a habit. It wasn’t long until she was using the drug a few times a week.

But it is a slippery slope to rock bottom. Melanie ended up on the street after losing her house, her furniture and custody of her children before she realised she needed to seek help.

She has now been clean for more than a year.

Melanie is one of thousands of New Zealanders who has fallen victim to the surge of meth across the country.

A record amount of meth was seized by New Zealand law enforcement agencies in 2019 – just under 1.8 tonnes.

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