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1/3 of NZ families affected by alcohol and drug problems

1/3 of NZ families affected by alcohol and drug problems

A third of New Zealanders have a family member who has experienced negative effects in their life due to alcohol or drug use, research commissioned by the New Zealand Drug Foundation has shown.

The survey conducted by Research New Zealand to support the Drug Foundation’s febfast fundraising campaign shows that many New Zealand families are affected by addiction.

“One in three New Zealanders have first-hand knowledge of what it is like to deal with a family member who is experiencing negative effects due to alcohol or drug use,” New Zealand Drug Foundation executive Director Ross Bell said.

“Many of us know a loved one who has struggled with alcohol or drug issues, it is important to support our friends and whanau through their journey and help get them the support they need.

Mr Bell said that the survey also showed 15 percent of New Zealanders don’t know where to go for help when faced with a family member who has an alcohol or drug problem.

“Because so many Kiwis are affected by alcohol and drug problems, we need to make it easier to find help.

“Men are two times more likely than women to not know where to find help for alcohol and drug problems. Those aged over 55 are significantly less likely to know where to access help as well.

“This is something we need to change.”

Mr Bell said that as we enter the last week of febfast it was important to get behind the cause and help raise funds to help families who are dealing with alcohol and drug problems.

“This year, febfast’s focus has been on raising awareness of alcohol and other drug problems, and helping people understand these complex issues. These results show how confused many people are about where to turn to find help,” Mr Bell said.

“febfast is helping raise awareness and funds so that people do know where to go and there are quality resources for families faced with an alcohol or drug problems.”

People can donate to febfast at

febfast facts
• 2014 will be the fourth year the Drug Foundation has run febfast in New Zealand.
• In the three years to date, febfast has raised over $260,000 to help support organisations that assist young New Zealander’s with alcohol and drug issues, and help people better cope with substance abuse in their families.
• In 2013 the money raised from febfast was targeted to the Drug Foundations Get the Msg! (Get the Message) campaign. Currently Get the Msg! is a free drug information service via text messaging. It provides people with credible and factual health and safety information about drugs in a discreet way, wherever they are at any time of day.
• In 2013 we increased our social media presence and helped people to raise more money per person than ever before!
• The money raised in 2012 went towards supporting youth alcohol and other drug services across New Zealand included CareNZ, Evolve, and Odyssey House.
• The money raised in 2014 will go towards developing resources for parents and families who are struggling with alcohol and other drug issues.

Q1. Imagine that a family member of yours is being faced with an alcohol or drug problem. In this case, where would you go for help?

Base =501
GP/Doctor/Health Centre/Hospital31
AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)27
Other family members15
Alcohol Helpline/Drug Helpline/Youthline13
Police/Emergency services7
Treatment or support services (general mention)7
Citizen's Advice Bureau4
Salvation Army4
Community Alcohol and Drug Services (CADs)2
Ministry of Health1
I would just deal with it myself3
Don't know15

The base numbers shown are unweighted counts.
Total may exceed 100% because of multiple responses.

Table 2:
Q2. Have any of your family members ever experienced negative effects on their lives due to their alcohol or drug use?

Base =501
Don't know1

The base numbers shown are unweighted counts.
Total may not sum to 100% due to rounding.


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