Perils of meth addiction spelt out

Kristin Leckie. Photo: Sandy Eggleston
Kristin Leckie. Photo: Sandy Eggleston
She is not going to be quiet any more about the dangers of methamphetamine use, a former addict’s mother says.

Kristin Leckie, of Gore, shared part of her journey of walking with her daughter from addiction to recovery, at the Gore District Council community wellbeing committee meeting last week.

Ms Leckie said there needed to be more community awareness about the destruction methamphetamine use caused.

"It’s almost like a dirty secret that doesn’t exist.

"It happens in every community so why not speak about it?"

It was estimated 19 people were affected by one person’s use of the drug, she said.

"It breaks down families, it affects children, it affects the greater community through crime."

The use of the drug was very destructive and somehow young people needed to be educated about its dangers, she said.

Those people affected by a loved one’s use of the drug also needed to be supported, she said.

She had been warned by a gang member several years ago about speaking out but she felt compelled to raise awareness.

"My daughter nearly died."

About 10 years ago Ms Leckie’s daughter became addicted to the drug. Her daughter paid for her use of the drug by carrying money from the sale of the drug back to the gang which was supplying it.

It was a stressful and fearful time for the family and at one point their house was burgled.

"We had to install security cameras and we were living on the edge for a period of time."

It was an isolating and lonely experience, Ms Leckie said. "None of my friends knew what we were experiencing at the time."

It also caused her to question her parenting skills.

Eventually, her daughter was caught and went to prison.

Fortunately her daughter, now 28, was no longer using the drug and had been working fulltime for a year.

She would be in recovery for the rest of her life, as addiction was "a lifetime health issue".

This had been a positive outcome but often addicts committed suicide, had severe depression and declining oral health, she said.