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Dunne: UN report a wake-up call on drugs

Dunne: UN report a wake-up call on drugs

A United Nations report showing amphetamine-type drug use in New Zealand is among the highest in the world should serve as a wake-up call to the Government on the need for a comprehensive drug strategy, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

"This report shows that we have a worse methamphetamine problem than most nations, and we really need to face up to that," Mr Dunne said.

The report found Australia has the highest level of Ecstasy abuse in the world, with 2.9 percent of people over 14 using the drug. In New Zealand, it is estimated that 2.3 percent of the population use Ecstasy - higher than in the United States and Britain. The report says 3.4 percent of people in both New Zealand and Australia take amphetamines.

"These figures tell us that we have to stop seeing drugs as a recreational choice for a seemingly well-adjusted middle class," Mr Dunne said. "Because that view is a large part of our problem in New Zealand

"Let's get it straight: drugs destroy lives, they destroy families.

"There is no upside, there is no acceptable face of drugs, but there are some in this country who would have us believe that there is.

"Drugs like P, Ecstasy and the likes are not harmless play things and its time some sectors of society - including the Greens - stopped seeing them as such.

"The Government needs to put in place a coherent strategy that incorporates law enforcement, health and education," he said.

"And those who stand in the way of such a strategy, those who wish to continue basically being a part of this problem, those who make drugs acceptable, need to take a long hard look at themselves and the damage they are doing to our young people."

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