By Lauren Harding
Last week Pat Buckley, a man who has flatlined three times at the hands of drugs, and has now turned his life around having been clean for 25 years, came to speak to the Year 13 Health cohort.
At the age of 12, Pat was introduced to marijuana, and at 14 heroin. He was then catapulted into a world of addiction. Now clean, Pat founded the Amped 4Life trust in 2002, and goes around speaking to school and workplaces about the dangers and consequences of drugs.
For our 3.1 Health internal this year we are investigating the New Zealand issue of Methamphetamine. He educated us on the origins of methamphetamine, the impacts it has on the brain, the user, friends and family, and the wider community as well as society. Pat shared his personal experiences surrounding his drug abuse of heroin, working as a volunteer for St Johns, and what he’s observed with his friends and family. Over his lifetime he has buried over 60 of his friends due to drugs, alcohol, murder, and other causes. Both his best friend and girlfriend died on the same day after getting on the back of a motorcycle.
He told us frightening and eye-opening stories about what those on methamphetamine have done and the consequences those actions not only have on themselves but also those around them. An example of one of his stories is of a man that was on methamphetamine and he poured gasoline all over himself and lit himself alight, which unfortunately ended fatally. It was an awakening for all of us and we will take away his powerful message to not follow in his footsteps or there will be dire consequences. We all took away such important and valuable information that will not only help us with our internal but will help us in our own lives and futures.