'For today I am going to be clean' video

Mahvash Ali/FAIRFAX NZ

Ex-drug addict talks about her journey.

On December 27, 2015 she turned herself into the police.

Roxana Harsant and her young daughter were passengers in a car that was pulled over for speeding.

Her gear for smoking meth was in the car.

Roxana Harsant says before she quit she was surrounded by people and circumstances that supported her habit.
MAHVASH ALI/FAIRFAX NZ

Roxana Harsant says before she quit she was surrounded by people and circumstances that supported her habit.

"I owned up to it. I told them [police] where it was and I told them it was my stuff."

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The "roller coaster" had to stop.

Roxana Harsant, front, says the help from her counsellor Diane Robinson, back, has been instrumental in getting her back ...
MAHVASH ALI/FAIRFAX NZ

Roxana Harsant, front, says the help from her counsellor Diane Robinson, back, has been instrumental in getting her back on her feet.

She was arrested.

After Harsant pled guilty for possessing the tools of her addiction, the mother-of-one was sentenced to 12 months of intensive supervision.

It brought to a close over a decade of drug abuse.

Roxana Harsant says she started her meth habit in her early 20s.
MAHVASH ALI/FAIRFAX NZ

Roxana Harsant says she started her meth habit in her early 20s.

The very first time she took methamphetamine, Harsant did not sleep for three days. 

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She was in her early 20s, living in Waipu and had a steady job.

In a matter of days she quit work and moved to Auckland - sometimes working as a prostitute to fuel her "full-time drug habit".

Roxana Harsant, 38, says she has given up a "life time habit" of smoking pot.
MAHVASH ALI/FAIRFAX NZ

Roxana Harsant, 38, says she has given up a "life time habit" of smoking pot.

At her worst, she could consume an entire gram of methamphetamine on her own.

But that was not her only drug habit, she had been smoking marijuana and taking other illegal substances all her life.

She said she grew up with addicts.

Harsant was a teenager when she first smoked marijuana, stolen from her mother's stash. After that, she used whatever drugs she could lay her hands on.

"I was lost and I needed to find a way home.

"Addiction is about running away from realities," she said.

Now 38, Harsant has been drug-free for close to a year.  

When asked what the future will hold, she said she chose to live one day at a time. 

"For today I am going to be clean," she said.

Harsant said she had learned to respect herself. She now had "true mana".

Her probation officer referred her to the alcohol and drug unit of the Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust after she was sentenced.

That's where she met her current counsellor Diane Robinson.

Harsant, now seven months pregnant with her second child, said the therapist helped her confront her unhealthy past and the circumstances that led her to addiction.

Robinson said she worked with the recovering addict to find a role model in her family.

That meant going back to her whakapapa. Harsant picked her great-grandmother as the strongest woman she knew.

"She knew what she was about and she was always in control of herself."

Following in the footsteps of her favourite matriarch, the former drug addict said she had started her recovery process. 

Harsant said she had tried to quit many times and even gave up meth for a number of years, but went back to it every time.

Robinson said it was very important for recovering addicts to connect to "the core" of their whanau.

"It gives you grounding," Harsant said. 

Where to get help:

Alcohol and drug helpline - 0800 787 797 

Lifeline - 0800 543 354

Depression Helpline (8am to midnight) - 0800 111 757

Healthline - 0800 611 116

Samaritans - 0800 726 666 

Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) - 0508 828 865

 - Stuff

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