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.

Alcohol Misuse on the Rise in Australia and New Zealand

Alcohol Misuse on the Rise in Australia and New Zealand

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

Alcohol Misuse on the Rise in Australia and New Zealand: The Over 50 Crowd

Alcohol is legal for those who are of age. However, that does not mean it cannot be misused or abused. A substance being legal does not mean it is safe in excess or even in general use. Australia and New Zealand are seeing a rise in the misuse of alcohol, especially in those over 50 years of age. While it is perfectly legal for people over this age to drink as much or as little as they desire, it can be dangerous.

Identifying Alcohol Misuse

Due to the rise in misuse in this age group, it has become important for aged care workers, as well as doctors, to be able to identify this type of misuse. Medical personnel should also be able to identify and watch out for long term impacts of alcohol misuse on cognition for this age group. Having the right response to those in this age category as far as medical needs is important as the number of individuals with issues will grow.

It appears that baby boomers worldwide are drinking more than previous generations. However, those in New Zealand drink more frequently and more during each drinking episode than older adults in at least nine other countries. This covers up to 40% of adults over 50 years of age. Specific to Victoria, those over 50 are responsible for the greatest increase in ambulance calls for alcohol related incidences. This is tied to an increase in young onset dementia.

Older drinkers have a higher sensitivity to alcohol physiologically and tend to have previous health conditions that are exacerbated by excessive alcohol use. Medications that are common to this age group are also affected by alcohol use, making it more dangerous, especially in excess. It is recommended that those over 50 should have only a single standard drink a day, with at least two alcohol free days each week. However, those with dementia, should not drink at all as it can make the disease progress faster. Unlike younger drinkers who tend to drink more in a shorter period of time, older drinkers drink less, but for longer periods. This increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, and a number of cancer types. Sadly, this is not a well-known or advertised fact for older adults.

Signs of Alcohol Misuse and Abuse in Older Adults

Since alcohol is legal for adults few people know what to look for as far as signs of alcohol misuse or abuse when it comes to this age group. This is especially true for those older adults who may not have been heavy drinkers in their younger years. Older people are often about to feel the effects of alcohol, the ‘high’, without increasing the amount they drink. This means a drink or two a day can have the effect on an older person that several have on someone younger. Unfortunately, this tends to lead to accidents like car crashes, falls, and fractures more often with this age group. For those 50 and older, drinking over a long period of time can lead to:

  • Cancer, liver damage, brain damage, and immune system disorders
  • Worsening already present health conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, memory loss, mood disorders, ulcers, and stroke)
  • Make medical issues harder to treat or even find (i.e. warning signs for a heart attack)
  • Cause confusion or forgetfulness which is often mistaken for Alzheimer’s and treated as such

Furthermore, alcohol can affect overall safety for adults in this age category. In addition to the increased rate of falls and household accidents, alcohol is a factor in 30 percent of suicides, 40 percent of crash and burns, and 50 percent of drownings and homicides. The falls that people in this age group have can lead to fractures and other injuries that cause permanent damage. Furthermore, alcohol misuse in this age group can strain family relationships and contribute to familial violence.

Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Though there are no hard and fast rules about who will become a problem drinker later in life or not, there are some factors that have been identified as contributing to the problem. As a person gets older, they tend to face major life changes like poor health, financial difficulties, and even loneliness. Other situations that may create a problem include:

  • Empty nest syndrome, when children move away
  • Boredom with lack of social activities
  • Loss of friendships
  • Traumatic events, when a spouse dies
  • Sadness or depression following a life change, downsizing a home

Since alcohol is a depressant, it is responsible for brain changes. However, it works on the brain to make a false sense of happiness. Signs of alcohol abuse in seniors include:

  • Drinking to cope with depression or loss
  • Drinking with prescribed medications
  • Being in danger due to drinking habits
  • Being agitated when sober
  • Lying about drinking amounts
  • Hiding liquor bottles
  • Slurred speech with the smell of alcohol on their breath

Seeking Help

Alcohol Misuse on the Rise in Australia and New Zealand

No matter the age someone starts drinking or when they become a problem drinker, it is important to seek professional help. DARA offers help for those with alcohol issues and additions. With locations in several countries, including four in Australia (Melbourne, Auckland, Brisbane, and Sydney), DARA works with each person, mind, body, and soul.

DARA uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help each person learn how behaviors affect thinking and thinking also affects actions. If we are able to change the thoughts, then the behaviors will follow. Paired with individualized and group therapies are recreational and physical activities, proper nutrition, massage, relaxation time, and meditation. This allows a person to heal from the inside out while learning more about addiction in general. When a person leaves a DARA program, they are well equipped to stay on the road to long term recovery.

If you or a loved one is in need of help for alcoholism, alcohol dependence, or a simple alcohol problem, then call DARA anytime, day or night. The first step is up to you, make the call to change your life for the better.

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.