12 Jun 2023

Study hopes for meth impact reversal in the brain

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 12 June 2023
Tuta Ngarimu, Tairāwhiti community advocate

Photo: Tuta Ngarimu

A Gisborne-based research project is using MRI scanning to study the impacts of methamphetamine in the brain. New Zealand is among countries with the highest use of meth globally, with wastewater data showing this is concentrated in rural towns in Northland, the Bay of Plenty, and Hawkes Bay - all areas which have high Māori populations.

The project is called 'The Matai meth recovery study', and early data is showing changes to the brain are potentially reversible.

Kathryn speaks with principal researcher Miriam Scadeng, Associate Professor at The University of Auckland, and community advocate Tuta Ngarimu, Manager at Manaaki Moves Trust, who has himself overcome a meth addiction and is now on a mission to give back to his community.