Community based methamphetamine pilot
Ministry of Health awards $800,000 contract from Proceeds of Crime to Wellington Charity, CART, to combat methamphetamine addiction (www.cart.org.nz)
The Ministry of Health has awarded a grant of $800,000 to the Wellington based registered charity Consultancy, Advocacy and Research Trust, Inc. (CART).
The purpose is to invest in a new two-year initiative, ‘Wakatika Ora’(the canoe of the correct path to health), a CART proposal to help stem the current New Zealand tide of substance addiction.
“CART has been working with ‘hard to reach and difficult to deal’ with communities, notably a wide range of gangs since 1989, so we are naturally gratified that our good reputation has won this recognition,” said CART chair John Wareham, leadership consultant, prison reformer, and author of the crossover self-help book, How to Break Out of Prison. Addiction treatment is “something of a minefield and the relapse rate can be depressing”, he says, “so we’ll be exploring new pathways and methodologies. Our program will be holistic and will involve both clinical and non-clinical elements. It will initially target methamphetamine users who have social leadership potential and through a proven programme enlist them as allies in community level change. Most addicts are poly-drug users, so we’ll be casting a wide net. At an individual level our first step will be referral to appropriate detox programs. After sobriety is achieved, the next steps will be activities to recover physical health, undertake intellectual journeys, and foster communal support.”
“This particular mission comes our way precisely because it is the kind of difficult and demanding challenge that CART was established to deal with,” said CART long-time trustee Denis O’Reilly. “For sure we’ll be exploiting our deep experience dealing with substance abusers. We know all too much about ‘P’ addiction, those who fall prey to it, and the that havoc it creates within the wider community. And its at a community level that we are going to start. Where an individual needs clinical support we’ll be working with a range of established treatment providers. But we see drug use as a symptom of deeper underlying causes, many of which are social, so we’re intending to innovate with our new personal development modules. If people make personal change then collectively they can change a community. It has been clearly demonstrated that we can’t stop supply but we believe we can reduce demand and thus reduce harm.”
“We know the road ahead is tough, but we have a top operating team at CART, and this is the kind of innovation we’ve built our reputation on,” said CART manager, Anthony ‘Antz’ Carter.
“I’m thrilled to be right in the middle of this initiative; I know who to help, and I know the kind of help they need,” said Eugene Ryder, CART team leader, Wellington Black Power spokesman, and co-convener with John Wareham of the highly successful CART supported ‘Black Power Film Festival’. Our people are on the edge of society, and its at that edge that real change is possible.