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Papakura Courier : April 16th 2014
Auckland’s most powerful media NETWORK Unbeatable coverage of Wednesday, April 16, 2014 808,000 readers 15+ Ph 09 525 0666 Source: Nielsen CMI Q3 2011–Q2 2012 Toughlove advice ToughLove facilitator Peter Altmann says the dramatic increase in the number of teenagers using synthetic cannabis is alarming and it’s destroying lives. ‘‘There may well be a case for tougher legislation. But, on its own, this approach will do little to help either a drugdependent teen or a parent whose self-confidence and peace of mind are in shreds because of a situation they can’t control.’’ ToughLove advises parents to take action if they suspect their children are using the drug. That includes searching their teen’s room, confiscating drug-related implements, raising the issue directly with the teenager and setting consequences for any drug use. ❚ Call ToughLove on 0800 868 445 or go to toughlove.org.nz for information. Drug hell: Hamish used synthetic cannabis for seven months and says the substance has caused great damage to him and his family. Photo: NIGEL MOFFIET Struggle with legal highs By NIGEL MOFFIET A FATHER-OF-FIVE who turned to synthetic cannabis as a way to cheat drug tests is now out of work and says the substance has destroyed him. South Auckland truck driver Hamish smoked marijuana for 30 years and says a friend introduced him to the substance Kronic seven months ago. Other truck drivers he knows started smoking legal highs because it wouldn’t show up in employment drug tests. But things quickly turned sour for Hamish. ‘‘I’d have a couple of puffs after partner noticed big changes within the first week of me smoking it. ‘‘I would have mood swings and I would lose my temper very quickly.’’ Many varieties of the drug left him so sick he couldn’t work. But he soon found a synthetic substance he could handle, with disastrous results. It meant he pushed his habit from two packets a week to one every day. Eventually, that took its toll and he gave up his job just before Christmas last year. ‘‘If I’m not working, I’ll get a packet in the morning and it’ll be gone by dinner,’’ the 44-year-old says. He has struggled with addiction work...my eldest daughter and my his whole life and has spent six months in prison and two-and-ahalf years in rehab as a result. His fiancee, who doesn’t want to be named, says his synthetic cannabis addiction was tearing the family apart and has had a big financial impact. Hamish lost four jobs since July last year because he couldn’t get out of bed and there has been ‘‘a lot of lying, stealing and many excuses to buy the stuff’’, she says. He wasn’t violent but ‘‘he was kind of like a ticking bomb with a lot of anger and arguing . . . it’s really taken its toll’’. Both she and Hamish are alarmed at the availability of the substance. Hamish says he would love to see it taken off the shelves and thinks something needs to be done about the way the product is being sold. ‘‘The guys at the shop got to know me so well. They’d be like, ‘oh yeah, he’ll be in every day’ so they had no problem giving it to me cause they know I’ll be back to pay the next time. ‘‘Two months ago, the guy gave me two for free to try out. The next day I told my partner to get rid of it and said, ‘I need you to help me get off this crap’. ‘‘She flushed it down the toilet and I went back to the shop the next day to get another one.’’ He’s also been offered two packets for the price of one on other occasions. +FREE FUN ‘‘They’d be like, ‘embrace the addiction mate, embrace it and grab two’. ‘‘I was in there a couple of weeks ago and bought one and watched about $600 change hands with people buying the stuff. I said, ‘you must make more money selling this than anything else’, and he said, ‘yeah, we do’.’’ Hamish has been off the drug for more than a week now and he’s determined to stay clean. ‘‘I have every intention of staying off it but I have an addictive personality. ‘‘The rehab and the prison are the things that put me off the most because I’m not going back there – it isn’t nice.’’ Open Friday 3 Saturday 3 Sunday 3 Monday 3 NO CAFE SURCHARGE - ALL EASTER WEEKEND VISIT YOUR LOCAL KINGS TODAY PH: O800 PLANTS (752 687) www.kings.co.nz FOR THE KIDS Join our Easter Egg Hunt - and enter our “Emperor’s New Clothes”colouring competition. Specials end 30 April 2014 or while stocks last.
April 9th 2014