Change comes from within

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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FORMER ADDICT: Papali’itele Siva’afi Taogaga is a success story who has experienced drug addiction and has managed to turn his life around.

FORMER ADDICT: Papali’itele Siva’afi Taogaga is a success story who has experienced drug addiction and has managed to turn his life around. (Photo: Deidre Tautua – Fanene)

“Meth is a very intense drug.”

These are the words of Papali’itele Sivaafi Taogaga during his interview with the Samoa Observer yesterday when asked about the effect of methamphetamine on a person.

The former world-renowned wrestler who experienced the highs and lows of life in the United States of America, finally ending up in jail and being deported back to Samoa, has a cautionary tale to tell.

“I was a drug addict and an alcoholic for so many years,” he said.

“When I went through so much trouble, I told myself that I had to change.

“I had to really change from within because it wasn’t easy. There were a lot of awareness programmes that I had to go through and as an addict it was hard because the body was so used to taking drugs that it was hard to escape from them.

“However, I finally saw the light and that I accepted Jesus in my life and as much as I struggle I was able to turn my life around and that is why I believe that in order for us to change it has to come from within us.

“The person has to change from within in order for them to escape from this problem

The number of people accused of possession of the drug meth or ice as it is also known, has increased and it is alarming to see that it is becoming a widespread drug within Samoa, he said.

“Ice really affects a person in every way,” he said. “It is an intense drug that will have serious effects on a person’s mind.

“Once a person starts taking this drug it will be very difficult for them to escape because it is so addictive.”

Papalii went on to say that ‘ice’ can also cause many problems such as physical and sexual abuse, it can lead to violence as well as suicidal thinking.

“Ice is like an egg when we fry it, it bubbles up. Likewise when a person takes ice his/her brain bubbles up.

“The brain bubbles up with so many thoughts but they are not good thoughts it’s like its boiling with all these negative thoughts and they cannot be controlled.

“It becomes intense in a way that is addictive. The rush you get when taking it, only lasts about 15 minutes and then it slows down again but then the person will want more and more until they can’t control it.”

The 67 year old went on to say that it is very dangerous to know that ice is now available in the country.

“It is such a small place and I tell you it can also be produced and cooked here if people know of the right ingredients,” he said.

“It is a very risky and dangerous drug to handle and when things gowrong it can cause an explosion to the building when it is not done probably.

“People can also die from meth when they overdose themselves. So it causes more harm to the person than good.

“I believe any drug that anyone takes - when they overdo it, it will kill them for sure.”

The former wrestler also believes that the reason why people are selling this drug is because you can make  good money.

“We need help financially and I believe that is the number one cause is people are struggling to provide for their families financially hence why they turn to drugs,” he told the Samoa.

“It’s easy and very big money.

“I mean a small portion of it will cost about $300 and for us here in Samoa, that is more than enough for the family so imagine getting that amount per day? The people will feel like millionaires.

“Even though they know it’s wrong but still they’ll do it anyway.

“The effect of it is very dangerous.

“It makes people feel so low and they will think that they are worth nothing and that they are rubbish.

“Once they feel like that then we have to be careful and make sure we keep an eye out for them.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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