More support for Christchurch families dealing with meth addicts

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 22, 2023 |

A charity helping families cope with meth addicts is bringing a support group to Christchurch.

According to the latest New Zealand Police wastewater drug testing results, an average 13.5 kilograms of methamphetamine per week was consumed nationally across sample sites, equating to an estimated weekly cost of $14.9 million in social harm.

The Canterbury District has the third-highest average weekly consumption.

Brave Hearts founder, Erin O’Neill said “while there is a lot of support for the addicts themselves, the families get left behind, yet the impact on families caring for an addicted loved one can be catastrophic and the impacts are widespread into the community.”

Brave Hearts’ mission is to provide support, education services and tools to help families directly affected by having a loved one with substance use issues, find stability and well-being in their lives. 

Kerry, a Brave Hearts member and now a facilitator of the Christchurch monthly support meetings had a daughter who was an addict.

“Her behaviour was so very frightening and scary. We never knew what state she was going to be in and I would lay awake at night, wondering how she was, if she was safe and if I was going to get a knock on the door from the police.”

“I remember feeling so helpless, upset and didn’t know what to do. I was listened to and it made me feel normal and supported. 

I learnt I can love my daughter as an addict but don’t have to support her or deal with her behaviours. This was hard at first. I would tell her “We love you but not you as an addict. When you decide to get clean, we will always be there for you”. 

Kerry has had her daughter’s son in her care since he was 2 weeks old.

‘She would visit him every Saturday (when she remembered) but this got to a point where her abuse of me was horrific in front of her child. It was not healthy for a nearly 3-year-old to be subject to this behaviour, and we needed to protect him 

She had been through rehab four times since she was 17 years old, the first being Youth Odyssey.

I learnt that rehab will only work if they are truly ready and but each time she went in she would pick more up little things to help her get closer towards staying clean and sober. 

I am very happy to say she is now 12 months clean and we are super proud of her. It’s not an easy road but we are there to support her each and every day. I am so grateful to have Brave Hearts as a support.” 

The meeting will be held at the Fendalton Community Centre, 170 Clyde Road, Wednesday 29th March from 7.00 to 8:30pm.  Monthly support meetings are held at Familial Trust, 6 Wilsons Road, at 7pm on the last Wednesday of each month. 

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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