State of the Nation 2019
While we are doing well in some areas, in others there is significant room for improvement - the the overall impression provided by the New Zealand Drug Foundation about how New Zealand is dealing with alcohol and other drugs.
NZDF recently released their annual report. Key findings included
- New Zealand still has high rates of alcohol and other drug use.
- Whilst the rates of death from synthetic cannaboids has decreased, new synthetic substances appear on the market frequently.
- The use of methamphetamine across the populaiton remains low at 0.7% but some communities continue to suffer huge amounts of harm from its use.
- Alcohol remains that drug that causes the most harm. Most people in New Zealand drink alcohol, with 20% of us drinking it hazardously. Alcohol is more available and cheaper than ever - with 2 mins being the time it takes for the average person to earn enough money to buy a standard drink of cask wine. Alcohol is by far the main substance of concern in the treatment service and the costs of lost productivity from employees is costing NZ 1.65 billion a year..
- More people are smoking cannabis, a rise of 12% up form 9% five years ago.
- Use of other drugs such as MDMA (esctacy) is on the rise.
- Alcohol and drug use are a big problem on our roads, with increases in drug driving charges.
- Funding for treatment has not kept up with demand, but harm reduction services are expanding, such as festival drug testing.
- NZDF would like to see a 'massive overhaul of our outdated drug laws'. The mention next year's cannabis referndum as a great opportunity.