Drug Use New Zealand: Wastewater Shares Shocking Tale

Drug Use New Zealand: Wastewater Shares Shocking Tale

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Treatment, Understanding Addiction

Drug Use New Zealand: Wastewater Shares Shocking Tale

Wastewater testing is not uncommon, but the findings for drug use in New Zealand are still shocking. Whether it is meth found in Northland, MDMA in Christchurch, or cocaine in Auckland, a drug problem truly exists. The results of a testing of the wastewater from November 2018 to January 2019 have shown positive results for cocaine, meth, and MDMA. The test covered approximately 80 percent of the population. The meth levels alone were higher in New Zealand than all of Europe. A real problem for drug use in New Zealand exists.

Breakdown of Drug Use in New Zealand

Preliminary results are staggering, showing Kiwis consuming about 16 kilograms of meth per week especially near Northland in which about 20 million dollars per week in social harm was done. The second highest levels in the Canterbury District were for MDMA which averaged 4 kilograms per week. Finally came 700 grams weekly of cocaine a week in the areas. The lower cocaine use likely means a smaller user base and thus a smaller demand. This may be related to the price of cocaine in the area. However, Australia is well known for high cocaine usage among residents.

To break this down even further, wastewater testing allows police to estimate that about 9.6 million dollars in detected drugs are used weekly. This is about 500 million dollars in profit for criminals each year. Wastewater was tested to help police and related agencies make informed decisions about controlling and eliminating the drug trade in these areas.

Why People Use

There is no single reason that people use drugs, though there are some common reasons that may cause people to get started. Typically drug use that develops into addiction starts at a young age. Often, young people take drugs for the following reasons:

  • Fitting in
  • Relaxing
  • Escaping
  • Boredom
  • To appear mature
  • Out of rebellion
  • To experiment

For most young people drugs start as a solution to a problem, but then they become a problem that can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, this also often cuts life short due to health problems related to the addiction or overdose.

How Do Drugs Work

Drugs come in many forms, but all are essentially poisons. Usually, the amount taken determines the effects on the user. Small amounts tend to speed you up, acting as a stimulant, while larger amounts slow you down or act as sedatives. A large enough amount will kill a user whether it is a first time use or after repeated use.

Drugs also affect the mind. The effect on the brain are why people become addicted. This is because the user’s perception is altered. Even though the user feels they are behaving normally, they are often being irrational, odd, destructive, or inappropriate. Drugs tend to affect the memory and overall brain function. Memories of what happened may be lost or harder to recall. Actual information can also be harder to retrieve from the memory when under the influence.

Drugs further affect the personality. A once happy, cheerful, and outgoing person can turn into a despondent, depressed person seemingly overnight. Students may begin to fail academically and adults may suffer at work and financially. Illegal drugs and improper use of legal drugs is dangerous in every aspect.

When to Seek Help

Seeking help for a drug problem can be scary, embarrassing, and an emotional experience. Many wait too long to seek treatment and lose their lives or end up in jail. It can be hard to know when to seek professional help for many reasons. However, the truth is that drug addiction is not a character flaw, but a disease. It takes much more than willpower to give up drug use. This is part of the effects on the brain, the actual brain chemistry has been altered so that the body believes it will not function or live without the drug.

If you have tried to quit, but cannot, then you likely have an addiction and definitely need professional help. Even if you have stopped using, but are still struggling to maintain non-use, professional help can be highly beneficial. There is no need to wait for rock bottom before seeking treatment. As soon as you can make a commitment to becoming drug free, seek help. It will not be an easy road, but it is one that can change and potentially save your life.

Help at DARA

Drug Use New Zealand: Wastewater Shares Shocking Tale

DARA is a resort style, in-patient facility that can help you or your loved one on the road to recovery. No matter what type of addiction you are suffering from in life, DARA has the resources to help at affordable rates. One of the best ways to break the addiction cycle is to take yourself out of the environment. DARA’s drug free environment offers a 6 to 12 week program that allows you time to detox and learn to handle triggers that could signal a relapse once back home.

DARA Treatments

DARA treats addiction through multiple avenues that address mind, body, and spirit. Much like a holistic medical approach, different avenues offer a better chance at long term recovery. DARA focuses on the use of therapy known as CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy, physical wellness, nutrition, and education.

Therapy is offered in both individual and group formats with each patient receiving an individualized plan depending on what they need most upon entry. Through therapy, common triggers and issues are addressed and a plan put in place to avoid or handle these issues once returning home. Education classes on addiction are also offered to help individuals understand the dynamics of an addiction and why recovery comes with challenges that must be overcome.

Physical wellness and nutrition, along with times of meditation and relaxation are also part of treatment. The physical body is often damaged from drug use and nutrition and hygiene are neglected. This damage can be reversed in many cases through improved physical habits and proper nutrition. DARA provides top chefs in the area to prepare meals for patients and personal trainers are also given to help each individual get into better physical condition.

Get Help Now

CLICK HERE to get a free confidential addiction rehabilitation assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone now. Facilities are available throughout Australia in Melbourne, Auckland, Brisbane, and many other locations.

Meth New Zealand: The Drug of Choice

Meth New Zealand: The Drug of Choice

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Treatment, Understanding Addiction

Meth New Zealand: The Drug of Choice

Methamphetamines first hit the market in the 90s. Since that time they have grown in popularity and widespread use. Originally a party drug for the wealthy, meth has made its way into even the most rural areas in New Zealand. Since the beginning, meth has definitely held the spotlight in public consciousness due to media reports. These reports typically focus on the manufacturing of meth in New Zealand and accidents that occur while this is happening. The truth is, while manufacturing meth is dangerous, using meth is much more dangerous and addictive.

New Zealand Takes a New Approach

While in the past it was thought that locking up meth users was the best option to stop the spread of addiction, New Zealand is trying a new approach. New programs are health focused instead of punishment focused. Basically, this means users gaining access to treatment over time in jail or prison. Though the results are not yet clear, this would mean that addicts would have a chance at an addiction free life without a criminal record. This would give them a better chance to start over.

What is Meth?

Meth is a shortened term for crystal methamphetamine. It is just one form of the methamphetamine drug that is illegally produced. Meth is a white crystalline drug that can be snorted, smoked, or mixed with a liquid and injected. Some people do take it orally, but this is not the most common form of use. Once used, even from the first use, a strong desire to use again begins because of the intense rush of happiness. The effects of a single use can last up to 8 hours on average, but some have felt effects for an entire 24 hours.

Commonly a club drug, crystal meth goes by numerous street names that include crank, chalk, and speed. In clubs it is most often called ice and glass. The dangerous chemical mixture is poison to the body and begins to systematically destroy it from the beginning. Meth is so potent, it is not unusual to be addicted after the very first use.

Effects of Meth

Meth is often equated with a pleasurable experience by users, but even with the first use, meth begins to destroy the life of the user. This is in part because of the euphoric feelings that make the user think that they can go faster or further than a normal person. This then causes them to push their body beyond normal limits and leads to injury and damage.

Short Term Effects

Short term effects of meth are intense and can occur with the first use and continue through each subsequent use. These include:

  • Increased heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Altered sleep patterns
  • Euphoria and excitement
  • Erratic behavior that may turn violent
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea
  • Hallucinations
  • Panic
  • Psychosis
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Death from overdose

Long Term Effects

  • Permanent damage to the heart and brain
  • Liver, lung, and kidney damage (possibly permanent)
  • Nose tissue damage (if snorted)
  • Malnutrition
  • Breathing issues (if smoked)
  • Tooth and gum damage and decay
  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • Epilepsy

Many of the long term effects are permanent even after detox and refraining from any further use. However, getting treatment could mean the difference between life and death for users who are already experiencing side effects.

Getting Help with Addiction at DARA

Meth New Zealand: The Drug of Choice

DARA is an in-patient facility with multiple locations in Australia. These facilities, located in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney can help those with both long and short term meth addictions to get started on the road to recovery through 6 to 12 week average stays. With multiple facilities it is not only easy to get a spot, but affordable. This also allows the user to find a facility nearby, yet away from the area in which primary use occurred. This is important in the early days of recovery as a change in scenery in a drug free environment can take away the ability to continue use while skills to stay clean are being built.

Treatment Plans

Each individual that enters DARA is given a personalized treatment plan based on their individual needs. While every plan involves similar activities, the specifics are unique to the individual. Treatment includes the use of cognitive behavioral therapy in both group and individual sessions, wellness programs, and spiritual wellbeing. This is combined with exercise and proper nutrition to help the body heal as well as the mind. This is important because addicts tend to neglect physical health and hygiene when in active use.

While it may seem odd to include all these different aspects, drug addiction effects the whole body. This is especially true for those using meth as even the first use can begin causing damage. Through exercise and proper nutrition, the body can further detox. The dual purpose of giving the person an outlet for the energy and aggravation often brought on by detox and lack of access to drugs is also useful. Furthermore, this practice of daily physical activity can be useful when reintegrating into life as an alternative to drug use.  If you or someone you love needs help in overcoming addiction, call DARA anytime.

Contact DARA

CLICK HERE to get a free confidential addiction rehabilitation assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone now.

Illegal Drug Trade Thriving in Australia

Illegal Drug Trade Thriving in Australia

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Treatment, Understanding Addiction

Illegal Drug Trade Thriving in Australia

The illegal drug trade is not new in any part of the world, but it is gaining press. Australia has not been left out when it comes to this less than savory form of trade.

Drug Bust

A recent drug bust in Melbourne highlights the illegal drug trade in Australia where 1.8 tons of methamphetamine were found in a waterfront shipment from Bangkok. The drugs were hidden in speakers. The drugs were mostly crystal meth, but 82 pounds was also in the form of heroin. Altogether, the shipment was worth 1.2 billion dollars in meth and 19 million dollars in heroin. Unfortunately, Australia is being targeted as a prime location to fuel illegal drug trade because of the high prices attached to types like meth. The problems are not in the larger cities alone, but have found a way into the rural communities as well.

Crystal Meth

Though heroin is also a problem, the crystal meth addictions in Australia appear to be the fastest growing and most devastating. With large shipments like these coming in so brazenly, it is no wonder that the rates of addiction are increasing. This can be scary for those who have not previously bee introduced to the effects of crystal meth. The best way to combat the addiction, other than stopping shipments, is to know what to look for as signs for addiction. Knowing the signs means that you or your loved one can seek help sooner.

What is Crystal Meth?

Crystal meth goes by many names, but some of the most common are glass, crystal, ice, quartz, and blade. It is a crystallized central nervous system stimulant that is well known to be highly addictive. While a legally manufactured version exists, it is for medical use only and difficult to obtain due to the classification as highly addictive. Crystal meth can be used in multiple ways, including being injected, inhaled, or even smoked.

Signs of Crystal Meth Addiction and Use

When someone is under the influence of meth it is often obvious, but may present differently for each individual or depending on what is mixed into the meth to make the final product. Common symptoms and signs include:

  • Increased physical activity (hyperactivity)
  • Higher than normal respiration and blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature with heavy sweating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Paranoia
  • Sleeplessness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Unpredictability
  • Euphoria (may come and go)
  • Repetitive movements or tasks that serve no purpose
  • Jaw clenching
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Stomach issues (vomiting, nausea, diarrhea)

Over time, with repeated use, or when the meth is mixed with other substances there may be more intense effects that can include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Fatigue
  • Violence
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Respiratory or airway issues that can lead to death

How it Works

Since crystal meth affects the communication chemical dopamine, as well as norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain that then affects the entire central nervous system including breathing and heartrate, it is very dangerous. Even recreational use can quickly lead to addiction due to the powerful affects. When first using the user feels the euphoria almost immediately, but as this wears off the negative effects begin. This is when users often use again to keep up the positive feelings.

Meth is most often associated with “meth mouth”. Meth mouth is caused by repeated use that decays the teeth and gums, causing tooth loss and deformity. Those who inject meth may also suffer from skin conditions and repetitive picking of skin sores. This leads to infection that is often left untreated as the person does not want to admit to drug use.


Many meth users dread the withdrawal process so keep using instead. Withdrawal can affect a person physically, mentally, and psychologically. The intense symptoms can last from days to weeks depending on how heavy the user was ingesting the drug. Meth withdrawal symptoms can occur within hours of the last use and may include:

  • Sadness and hopelessness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue with lack of motivation
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Muscle pain

Due to the severity of these symptoms, many people will go on binges to prevent further symptoms. This is called tweaking.

Getting Help from DARA

Illegal Drug Trade Thriving in Australia


If you or a loved one has an addiction to crystal meth or any illegal drug, consider DARA for treatment. DARA has facilities in four locations in Australia that includes Melbourne, Auckland, Sydney, and Brisbane. DARA is unique in that it is both affordable and a resort style rehab facility. The in-patient facility specializes in 6 to 12 week programs that are all inclusive to help those with addictions. Whether you have been addicted for weeks or years, DARA is available to help by getting you on the right path prior to returning home.

Treatment Program

DARA focuses on the mind, body, and spirit using cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT, and other forms of treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of therapy that teaches individuals to identify the link between thoughts, feelings, and actions. Often our thoughts lead to actions that produce certain feelings and a cycle continues until interrupted. If these behaviors and thoughts can be identified and altered then the cycle of addiction can also be broken.

Additional Treatment

DARA also offers physical wellness treatments that includes a personal trainer, massages each week, and time to spend meditating and relaxing. Individual and group counseling are part of treatment, as is education about general addiction. Finally, nutrition is provided through prepared meals by top chefs in the area. Combining all these areas creates the best case scenario for those who complete the program. DARA has a high success rate overall for in-patient facilities. It is important to get the right start on the road to recovery and DARA provides just that.

CLICK HERE to get a free confidential addiction rehabilitation assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone now.

Krokodil Use and Abuse in Australia

Krokodil Use and Abuse in Australia

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Treatment, Understanding Addiction

Krokodil Use and Abuse in Australia

Krokodil is a drug that is as violent as the name implies. Also known as the “zombie drug” the use of Krokodil has reached Australia. This drug was first notably used in Russia. However, in spite of the horrible side effects, use of the drug has made its way across several continents. The flesh-eating drug leaves the user in a zombie like state that is horrible to watch. Though users do not seem to remember their behavior.

What is Krokodil?

Krokodil is an impure form of desomorphine that leaves the user with tissue damage that can be severe and can easily lead to a gangrenous type infection. The first use in Australia was reported in New South Wales when a young man showed up with an infection in his arm.

In the pure form desomorphine is a synthetic opioid. It has fast acting, power effects like analgesia and sedation. More so than morphine and shown to be more effective for quick pain relief. However, it is short acting as well. Though stronger than morphine, desomorphine has known side effects like hypotension and urinary retention. The street homemade version of this has become known as krokodil. The homemade krokodil causes serious damage to the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and bone that results in black or greenish scabs or scales earning the name. In many cases rotten flesh is also a sign of use which is how the nickname zombie drug developed. Long term users will often require amputations due to rotting flesh.

Krokodil, when homemade, tends to contain opioids or codeine that is heated and mixed with things like gasoline, battery acid, and even paint thinner. These additions are what cause the problems when the drug is injected. If the user misses a vein, the spot where the injection happened creates an abscess that kills off the flesh around it. This can lead to blood clots, infection, brain damage, and eventually amputation.

Identifying Krokodil

Since krokodil is homemade, it can take on different characteristics. This largely depends on the maker and what was added to the mixture. Usually, it is a clear or lightly colored liquid. However, it may also look like heroin in some cases. Most often it is a yellow liquid that has a distinct acidic odor. The liquid is then injected with a needle, much like heroin. It can also be eaten, smoked, or snorted. However injecting is the most common use. Krokodil may also be called Russian Magic or even poor man’s heroin. It is highly addictive from the first use.

Seeking Help

Krokodil is not only damaging to the entire body, it’s deadly. Due to the mixture of often unknown and unseparated ingredients that can go into making krokodil it is important to seek help if you are using krokodil. Even though the first use can cause damage to many areas of the body, stopping use as soon as possible can save a person from losing their life due to complications from this drug overall.

Since krokodil use has been found across various countries, being away of how to treat this specific type of drug abuse is important. Though most addicts will find themselves seeking medical treatment first due to infected sores or decaying flesh. This does little to help with the actual addiction. This is where DARA can help.

Contact DARA

Krokodil Use and Abuse in Australia

DARA is an in-patient rehab facility that helps with addictions of all types. With locations in Australia and other countries, DARA can work with those who have an addiction to start on the road to long term sobriety from drugs or alcohol, as well as other addictions. Specific to Australia, DARA has locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Auckland.

DARA can work with you or a loved one. Programs last on average between 6 and 12 weeks to help face the addiction issues in your life. DARA provides a luxury, resort style facility with amenities that will help you heal and be comfortable at affordable rates. Whether you are drawn purely by the need for help, the rates, or the beautiful views, DARA can provide. Each and every patient receives treatment that includes physical, spiritual, and mental aspects to get a good start on the road to recovery.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ‘CBT’

DARA focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy, also called CBT. CBT is a form of therapy that helps an individual identify specific behaviors and then the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make up those behaviors. Once these are identified, a change in the thought process can lead to changes in life. This can be especially useful for those with addictions. This can also be helpful in identifying triggers that may be problematic when the in-patient stay is complete.

In addition to CBT, DARA uses physical activity and nutrition to help each patient heal from the inside out. A part of most addictions is a lack of self-care. This lack of self-care can lead to vitamin deficiencies poor eating, and lack of exercise. At DARA, top chefs in the area prepare daily meals and some form of physical activity is required each day. Activities such as swimming, yoga, and time in the gym are likely options. As the mind heals from the addiction, the body can begin to heal as well. This is important, yet often overlooked at many facilities.

Additional Treatments

There are also weekly times of meditation and massages are offered three times a week for every patient. Massage and meditation are designed to both help patients relax and to release toxins from the body that have built up from drug and/or alcohol use and abuse. An additional education component about addiction is also included to help individuals understand how addiction develops and continues.

The key to the success of DARA centers is the combination of these treatments and some time away from people and places in which drugs or alcohol are present. If you or a loved one is suffering with an addiction, call DARA to gain further information or set up a stay.

Click here to get a free confidential addiction rehabilitation assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone now.

Are Strict Australian Laws Encouraging Alcoholism?

Are Strict Australian Laws Encouraging Alcoholism?

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Treatment, Understanding Addiction

Are Strict Australian Laws Encouraging Alcoholism?

Alcohol addiction is no respecter of person, age, race, nationality, or sexual orientation. There are new horrible stories that come out daily, hourly even, that involve tragedy and alcohol. One of the most tragic stories is that of one that passes alcoholism from generation to generation. While an alcoholic parent or sibling does not guarantee that another child will exist, the risks are higher.

Trying alcohol at a young age does not necessarily mean a problem will exist. However, repeating the experience over and over points to a problem. When you first start drinking, the sensation is enjoyable. You are often able to forget your problems all because of a drink. This makes it more tempting to drink again. Once you continually turn to alcohol every time a problem arises, the body gets used to the sensation and wants you to drink more alcohol. This makes the addiction turn into alcoholism, which is a horrible reality.

Specific to Australia, alcohol addiction tends to start with simple gatherings. This is a cultural and social activity that is highly common. The problem is when a person reaches harmful levels of drinking it can become a major health issue. In Australia, it is common for alcohol to be abused. In fact, around 120 thousand patients received drug or alcohol treatment in the country alone. Of those, over fifty percent were between the ages of 20 and 40. Another 33 percent were over 40. Furthermore, about a third of all young people that received youth supervision had to undergo alcohol or drug treatment.

Alcohol Laws in Australia

As alcohol dependence increases in Australia, the government has sought strict laws surrounding alcohol use. The laws cover things like the following:

  • Additional taxes on given amounts of beer or liquor
  • Prohibiting licenses for those selling cheap alcohol
  • High regulatory rules for pubs or bars
  • Nanny state laws
  • Harsh penalties for those who break these laws

These laws are considered safety and health measures. However, they simply encourage higher prices and self-purchase of alcohol instead of going out, effectively hurting businesses. Furthermore, the high prices of alcohol could lead people to seek alternatives, such as illegal drugs. When a pill carries a lower price tag than a single shot, some people may be willing to switch to drug use. This is also true because the alternative is just as available in pubs as alcohol.

When New Zealand first introduced stricter laws, the idea was to reduce alcohol related accidents. However, the number of accidents did not decrease. It seems younger drinkers just learned to buy alcohol from supermarkets instead of bars. The laws further had no impact on the amount of drinks, or on binge drinking. In fact, many areas just saw a shift in those drinking in pubs to the outskirts of the area. This increased violence and alcohol related incidents in suburban areas while only slightly decreasing the rates in the formerly high-risk areas.

This leaves everyone wondering what will work or will happen. Basically, the responsibility boils down to being a responsible citizen. If a problem exists with yourself or a loved one as far as drinking or addiction issues, then seek help. One strong treatment option will be explained below.

Signs of Alcoholism

If you are concerned about your own or a loved one’s drinking, but unsure if a problem exists, then there are some warning signs that can be red flags to alcoholism. These various warning signs will help you detect potential alcoholic tendencies. Some signs are highly recognizable. However, others may be a bit more difficult to identify. Those who are more severe alcoholics may show stronger signs or more symptom. If several are present, then help is needed.  For many, alcohol abuse is ignored in the minor stages. If concerned, a professional can help.

Common symptoms of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, warning signs, can include, but are not limited to:

  • Temporary blackouts
  • Short term memory loss
  • A change in appearance or the group someone is hanging out with
  • Irritability and extreme mood swings without warning
  • Feeling hungover, even when not drunk
  • Making excuses for drinking (commonly relaxation, stress relief, or to feel normal)
  • Choosing to drink instead of fulfilling other obligations
  • Drinking alone or hiding drinking behaviors
  • Isolating from friends and family members to drink

None of the symptoms should be ignored, even in the mildest cases as it can and will likely get worse. If diagnosed with an alcohol use issue, other issues may arise that begin affecting overall health.

Finding Help

Are Strict Australian Laws Encouraging Alcoholism?

If you or a loved one is developing or has already developed an issue with alcohol then seek professional help. One of the top facilities in the area is DARA in-patient facilities with locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, and Brisbane, among others. DARA offers stays of varying lengths at affordable, all-inclusive rates in a luxury resort type rehab that can get you well started on the road to long term recover. DARA focuses on the whole person, mind, body, and spirit in a variety of ways. Through the use of CBT, massage, recreation time, physical activities, and proper nutrition, DARA provides the tools and education necessary to get you a head start on the recovery process.

Using CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, DARA trained counselors will help each patient learn the connections between thoughts and actions, while learning to alter those thoughts to make better choices. Weekly workout sessions, as well as recreational activities and three massages a week are paired with healthy, proper nutrition to get the body to help detox and heal itself while staying at the facility. Time for relaxation and meditation is also available to help heal the spirit. Group and individual counseling are required as is education about addiction in general.

Through all these activities, each patient will build tools to handle addiction upon leaving the facility. The best way to start recovery is by getting out of the environment in which the addiction started, DARA can make this happen while staying at the facility, allowing each patient to be strong enough to move forward upon returning home addiction free. When you are ready, make the call. DARA is waiting.

CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone right now.