Tuesday 7th March 2017
Youth drugs service reports no rise in methamphetamine use in
The largest youth drugs service in the Bay of Plenty says it has
seen no rise in referrals for methamphetamine use in recent
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board's (BOPDHB) Youth Alcohol
and other Drugs (AOD) service, Sorted, says less than 10 of the
230-250 referrals it receives a year would have used
"As part of our work in the Bay of Plenty we have observed
little change in reasons for why young people are referred to our
service, with this primarily being due to cannabis and/or alcohol
use," said Sorted Registered Social Worker Caleb Putt, of the group
which works primarily with young people under 18 years old.
"Anecdotally, there has been little evidence of any change to
young people's patterns of use in the community as we interact with
our key referring services, such as: Youth Justice, Police Youth
Aid, hospital emergency departments, secondary schools and
alternative education providers.
"Typically there would be less than 10 young people a year
referred to Sorted who have ever tried methamphetamine, and only
two or three a year for whom methamphetamine is their substance of
choice - or at least are meeting criteria for problematic use of
Sorted emphasises youth friendliness, accessibility and
maintaining a focus on engagement in delivering its service said
"This is regardless of what substance a young person is using as
for most young people they are sceptical and often reluctant about
wanting to engage with an AOD service.
"Confidentiality, flexibility (in terms of where young people
are seen) and emphasising harm reduction and safety messages are
all important aspects of service delivery, with any hint of
judgement or talk of abstinence likely to disengage most young
"Young people who are thinking about using or who are using
methamphetamine will get this same quality of service as any other
young person," he added.
Sorted not only works with young people referred due to AOD use
but also with young people experiencing mental health difficulties
as well as AOD problems, and are based within the Child and
Adolescent Mental Health Service.
Other Youth AOD services that are available to young people
include Get Smart, Te Manu Toroa, Nga Kakano Foundation,
Ngaiterangi Iwi Trust and Maketu Hauora, Tuhoe Hauora, Tuwharetoa
Ki Kawerau, Te Whanau Apanui and Emerge Aotearoa.
Above: Sorted Registered Social Worker Caleb Putt says his service
has seen no rise in referrals for methamphetamine use in recent
Bay of Plenty District Health Board
March 7, 2017