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Alcohol is New Zealand's Number One Problem Drug

9 October 2003 Media release

Alcohol is New Zealand's Number One Problem Drug

Alcohol is New Zealand's Number One problem drug, Associate Health Minister, Jim Anderton, told a Regional Alcohol Forum in Upper Hutt today.

"Alcohol doesn’t harm everyone who uses it and so the emphasis is on controlling harm. But it must be said – plainly and strongly: alcohol related harm is New Zealand's No. 1 drug problem. I say that advisedly but deliberately, because when alcohol is abused it is a dangerous mind and behaviour altering drug," Jim Anderton said.

In his speech, Jim Anderton listed some of the effects of alcohol in our society:

-deaths and physical health problems from alcohol-related conditions;
-alcohol dependence and other mental health problems;
-effects on unborn children;
-drink-driving fatalities and injuries;
-violence and crime both within and beyond the home;
-workplace injuries and lost productivity;


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