Southern youth are coping ''surprising well'' with
psychoactive substance withdrawal and are not seeking
Deb Fraser, director of Whakaata Tohu Tohu/Mirror Services,
which is run by the Aroha Ki Te Tamariki Trust, said the
trust started a new service in March after securing about
$750,000 from the Government.
The new contract was designed to improve access to services
for 12 to 22-year-olds in Otago and Southland with alcohol,
drug and mental health problems, Ms Fraser said.
The new service, named in the interim the Mirror Youth
Exemplar Service, was easily accessible, highly mobile and
provided a multidisciplinary team, including a psychiatrist,
psychologist and a family therapist.
The service included school-based interventions for youth
whose family had addiction issues.
Ms Fraser said the contract was ''timely'', after interim
approvals for all psychoactive substances were revoked at
12.01am last Thursday.
That effectively made the use, sale and manufacture of the
Clinical team leader Tangi Noomotu said the psychoactive
substance users who had used the service after the ban, many
of whom were highly dependent, were coping ''surprisingly
well'' with withdrawal.
Many users were opportunistic and used a psychoactive
substance only because it was readily available, he said.
The sourcing of illegal drugs took time and many people could
not be bothered with the search.
''Some people just stop - they don't have much motivation to
go and seek those drugs.''