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Alcohol use up in latest drug use monitoring survey

Alcohol use up in latest drug use monitoring survey

The latest New Zealand Arrestee Drug Use Monitoring Programme Report (NZ-ADUM) has found that 41 % of people detained by police had been drinking prior to their arrest.

The NZ-ADUM study is an annual Massey University study that has been funded by Police since 2010. During the 2013 study 848 detainees were interviewed and 201 urine samples were taken at four police watch houses between April 2013 and July 2013. The study compares the 2013 findings with previous research from 2010, 2011 and 2012 to establish trends.

Assistant Police Commissioner Malcolm Burgess said the average number of drinks detainees claimed they had consumed increased from 12 in 2010 to 17 in 2013.

“For a number of years Police has viewed alcohol and drugs as a driver of crime,” Mr Burgess said. “The results of this survey are further proof of that relationship.”

“We believe the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act which came into effect in December will help us reduce alcohol fuelled crime but we need the community to play their part by adjusting their drinking habits and their expectations around the availability of alcohol.”

The 2013 NZ-ADUM report once again found detainees had a much higher level of methamphetamine use than the general public.

“In 2013, 6% of detainees reported using methamphetamine prior to their arrest up from 3% in 2010,” Mr Burgess said.

“Police believe there is a close relationship between methamphetamine use and anti-social behaviour and unfortunately this problem is not going away.”

Mr Burgess said that the NZ-ADUM survey provides a valuable snapshot of the relationship between alcohol / drugs and criminal offending and a measure of progress in the fight against alcohol and drug misuse.

“The study contributes to our understanding of the drivers of crime, documents the harm of substance use and helps identify the emergence of new drug types,” Mr Burgess said.

The survey participants were interviewed at Whangārei, Auckland Central, Wellington Central and Christchurch Central watch houses. Participation is optional and all information provided remains confidential.

ENDS

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