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Campbell Live

Update on Jesse: Found but dealing with withdrawals

Friday 11 Apr 2014 7:06 p.m.

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Last night, Campbell Live reporter Jendy Harper brought you the story of Auckland mum Erika Perkinson, who was searching the streets of Christchurch for her son, Jesse. 

Seventeen-year-old Jesse is an engaging, bright, polite young man, who is horribly addicted to synthetic cannabis. 

Last night, Ms Perkinson found Jesse, and he's okay. He desperately wants to get off the stuff, but the withdrawal process is a nightmare experience.

Jesse needs a medically supervised detox, and both he and his family are now desperately seeking a professional who can help. 

"I haven't had any today and I know I'm going to get really sick, really soon, and it sucks so badly." 

Jesse knew that his mum would do everything she could to find him. He desperately wants something better for his generation, people older and younger than him. 

"You know my brother has just hit 15," says Jesse. "I started smoking synthetic cannabis at 14; I'd been addicted for a year at that point." 

Jesse wants to warn people of his age to never touch synthetic cannabis. "There are kids out there that are just starting it and they don't know that they could be sitting in my shoes in five years. I don't want that for anybody." 

Ms Perkinson now finds herself in a difficult position: she has found her son, which she is extremely grateful for, but she needs to think about her four other children. 

"If we take him home he's going to get really sick and go into withdrawals," says Ms Perkinson. "But we also have four other children that when they see Jesse go into withdrawals - he's lying on the floor, convulsing and being sick - they're terrified." 

It is scary for the others, as well as Ms Perkinson, and it's very painful for Jesse. 

"I have my parents, and I have my family's support, but how long can you survive when you can't eat or drink?" asks Jesse. "That's what it's done to me, because I've been using it for so long." 

Watch the video for the full story.

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