Mums anguish over wait for help

updated By Mānia Clarke

An Auckland mother is desperate to get help for her son with a drug addiction after viewing a viral social media video showing a woman in a drug induced state.

Audrey Hall and her whānau empathise with the woman in a drug-induced state. Her family is now awaiting rehab for her as reported on Te Kāea last night.

“I take my hat off to him to saying how proud he is about putting this out there.  It's emotionally draining and I can see how emotional he is crying out for help,” says Audrey Hall (Ngāti Pukenga).

Audrey Hall's son has had a drug addiction for over three years. Repeated help from mental and drugs services have resulted in relapses.  Her son was accepted to Odyssey House in January, but is still on the waiting list.

Odyssey House CEO Fiona Trevelyan says, “Some of it’s around the clinical issues for the clients themselves.  Some of it's about getting that information, the wait time it takes for us to get a criminal record, to get the health records etc., the other thing is pressure on beds.”

There are currently 223 people waiting to receive drug treatment through Odyssey House.  With 133 beds, the average waiting period is two to three months.

Trevelyan says, “We've seen that trend over the last three years, and of those growing numbers of people who are seeking treatment, there's a growing number of people that use methamphetamine.”

And the waiting period is placing a lot of strain on the Hall family.

Audrey Hall says, “Since then he's been to court three times, he's stolen from us, he's taken from us.  We've got three other children that it's affected, it's just affected the whole family.”

Grandmother Tui Hall (Ngāi Tuhoe) says, “For the mother and the father I see them both going down, it's causing a lot of fiction.  And him also to get him that help.  It's very hard to sit back and watch it.”

Odyssey House and other Auckland drug rehabilitation services will meet with the Ministry of Health next week to discuss their growing treatment needs.

If you or anyone in you know is need of assistance please visit www.mentalhealth.org.nz or contact any of the organisations listed below.

National helplines

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666