Doco on P ignored ‘true horror of the drug’

By June 17, 2021 Recent News

More FM’s Jay-Jay Feeney says Patrick Gower: On P ignored ‘the true horror of the drug’
Stuff 17 June 2021
Broadcaster Jay-Jay Feeney has dismissed Three’s documentary Patrick Gower: On P as “candyfloss”, saying as someone whose “life was threatened by an extremely unhinged [P] addict” she felt it ignored the true stories behind meth addiction.

On More FM’s drive show on Wednesday afternoon, Feeney told her co-host, Paul “Flynny” Flynn, she felt “quite frustrated” after watching the special, which aired on Tuesday night.

“I felt like [Gower] almost glamorised P,” Feeney said, because he devoted a lot of time to how much money there was to be made out of it.

“He never really touched on the true horror of the drug, and what it really does to the people who get addicted and the people close to them.”

On P follows Gower’s wildly successful three-part series Patrick Gower: On Weed, and sees the Newshub national correspondent delve into the world of pure methamphetamine, or P.

During the one-hour special, Gower spoke to a Mexican cartel running meth into New Zealand, a cop, and a former addict who is three years clean, among others.

Gower called for a Government-led, health-based approach to dealing with New Zealand’s P problem, guiding users on a path to sobriety.

But Feeney argued that glossed over the gritty reality of the situation for many, pointing out that Jessie, the recovering addict, had the full support of her family to get clean.

“What [Gower] didn’t touch on, I think, is the truth.”

She had seen and felt the “wrath” of P, Feeney said.

The drug destroyed the addict, who became “irrational, emotionless, devoid of any kind of compassion or sense… they don’t care who they hurt on the way”.

And it was extremely difficult to help an addict, Feeney went on. Loved ones who tried to intervene were subject to abuse, were threatened with and sometimes the victims of physical and emotional harm.

“The only way that an addict will get better is if they actually want to, not if you want them to… A lot of them are quite happy with the way it is, because it’s just too hard to quit.”

Feeney said when she was threatened by an addicted loved one, she went to the police, but was told there was nothing they could do “unless the perpetrator actually did something first”.

She said faced with the fear of physical and emotional harm and without adequate protection, families would try to distance themselves, which made room for the addict to become the victim, accusing loved ones of not being there for them.

“So I disagree with the conclusion of Paddy [Gower]’s documentary,” Feeney said, “because we do need to treat addicts as mental health patients and have the services to help them. But it’s not always going to be a fairy tale ending with the addict sober and everyone loves each other again like he portrayed on his show.”

Feeney said young people needed to be educated “about the real dangers of this drug, none of this candyfloss crap that no one can relate to… Show people the true destruction of the person who uses P and the damage it does to every good person around.”

She advocated for a prevention-based approach, because those who were already addicted could not always be helped.

She didn’t usually talk about her personal experience, but was doing so to draw attention to P as “the worst drug in the world”.

“So yeah, I’ll take it to parliament, and we can start a march,” Feeney said.

On P became Discovery-owned Three’s highest rating local show of the year, with nearly half a million people tuning in on Tuesday night.