Coronavirus: Kiwi addicts face the hidden dangers of COVID-19 lockdown

Lockdown is tough for everyone in New Zealand. But Kiwis with serious addiction issues could be in more danger than others, with experts warning the conditions are "a recipe for disaster".

Hope McKinnon is an Auckland support person and has been clean for five years. She told The Project the COVID-19 lockdown is an immensely difficult time. 

"A lot of people will use to numb themselves from emotion, to quiet their brains down and not think about things that are stressful," she said.

"I know for addicts and recovering addicts it's really difficult because you have all these new stresses and thoughts and going into lockdown it's a recipe for disaster."

Ben Birks Ang, deputy executive program director for the New Zealand Drug Foundation, says many addicts are fighting with the urge to use first thing in the morning.

As the day stretches ahead of them in lockdown, denying or delaying that urge becomes more difficult. 

While alcoholics have not had to look far for their fix, with alcohol classed an essential service, methamphetamine or 'P' has been trickier to access - and what can be found could be even more dangerous than it was before COVID-19.

Police say strict border measures have disrupted the supply of drugs - Birks Ang says this disruption is evident in the dip in quality of the drugs circulating New Zealand. 

"That may be [because] ingredients are harder to find, or substituted, and that increases the chances of people needing medical help because they've taken too much of that substance."

Brendon Warne has been clean for three years. He's the founder of grassroots organisation the Anti-P Ministry and told The Project he thought lockdown would be good to slow the drug trade.

But with cooks getting creative, Warne says there is more substances being sold as P on the streets than ever before.

"You can get grams for $200 now - that was unheard of back in the days when I smoked, so that makes the job a lot harder," he said.

Watch the full interview above.