Going public 'well worthwhile'
Sue Eade would not hesitate to again break the silence on legal highs and tell the world the effect they were having in her home.
The Herald first ran a story about the Timaru mum in April, because she was worried she would bury one of her two sons, aged 15 and 20, because of their use of legal highs.
Danny, 20, was smoking up to a packet and a half a day and was resorting to illegal activities, as well as stealing from his mother, to buy the synthetic cannabis after losing his job.
The publicity saw him head-butt a window and trash the family home when his mum went public with his dependence on synthetic drugs.
Ms Eade became part of a local campaign to stop legal highs being sold in corner dairies and later rejoiced when the Psychoactive Substances Bill came into force, which outlawed many synthetic drugs.
Now both her sons are in fulltime work on dairy farms near Ashburton. Ms Eade has moved to Dunedin to be closer to her family, due to ongoing kidney issues, having been hospitalised three times already this year and with one kidney likely to fail soon.
"I was watching TV and saw what effect legal highs could have on kidneys and that's what made me do something. I don't want people going through what I go through everyday.
"I guess I became the face of the public and broke the silence and told people this is what is going on in my house and this is what it is doing."
She was overwhelmed by the reaction.
"I didn't expect the feedback; I was on TV, it was unreal how far it went. All the feedback has been really positive, nothing negative at all. It worked out really well, especially with Janie [Annear] taking a stand as well.
"Both boys are doing really, really well and I am proud of what we did and very proud of both my sons. At first they hated me for it but they came round and realised I wasn't trying to hurt them, I was doing it to save them. They have found it really easy to stay off them [legal highs].
"Months on and people still talk to me about it and tell me that I have saved this person and that person, and that makes it worthwhile."
- © Fairfax NZ News