It’s hard to get your head around the role and impact that drugs and the laws that guide them have within a community, whānau and iwi. As a recovering addict I think about how my own substance abuse impacted on my life and how much worse it would have been to have a criminal record because of that drug use.
At the tender age of 24 I found my way to an addiction treatment facility, bewildered, hopeless and beaten – for me it was the treatment experience that opened the door to a new world with potential, the beginning of a healing journey. I give thanks daily, well most days... for the care given during this period of my life.
I have always felt like I dodged a bullet when it came to encounters with Her Majesty’s servants (police and courts) however many of my whānau, friends and associates were not so lucky – many ended up before the courts, in jail and others died -- all needlessly.
I know they were like me, and needed treatment, care, fellowship and compassion. We stand by this campaign because we believe in Health not Handcuffs.