Jessica Apanui's methamphetamine addiction began as an escape from the trauma of a violent childhood. But after years of chronic abuse, she made the decision to break the cycle for her own tamariki. Now Jess must look deep into her past and embrace the power of Māoritanga to help guide her future.
Hailing from Te Araroa, Jess grew up in a West Auckland home of violence and substance abuse: Jess was witness to things she can never unsee. At the age of 12, Jess started using drugs as a way to fit in and to mask the hurt and fear she was experiencing.
Her life continued to spiral out of control, hoping that becoming a mother would be the change she needed. Unfortunately, meth had sunk its hooks in deep and Jess had no way out. Eventually she started manufacturing meth in her West Auckland home.
Today, Jess is 3 years clean with the gift of Recovery. Now an advocate for helping whānau who are trying to get clean, she documents her journey on her Facebook page Life Beyond Meth (LBM) with 12,000 followers. Jess is a busy mother but is still committed every day to change her community, one addict at a time.
“Jess and Holly's story forces us to truly listen. And it's a full-body listen. Not just with our ears. Absorbing a specific woman's story, we bear witness and cannot help but see ourselves in her shoes. We see ourselves, and other women we know in those eyes."
- Dr Hinemoa Elder, New Zealand Herald