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Blumsky's plan to address substance abuse

12 April 2006

Mark Blumsky National Party MP

Blumsky's plan to address substance abuse on streets

National MP Mark Blumsky today announced his intention to develop a voluntary code of practice for New Zealand retailers aimed at reducing the sale of intoxicants and volatile substance to abusers of those drugs.

The code would cover the sale of products such as methylated spirits, aerosols, solvents, glues and gases.

"By preventing the sale of these products to abusers, we hope to reduce the amount of substance abuse in our communities and on our streets," says Mr Blumsky.

"I have researched how other jurisdictions have addressed this issue. The code will be modeled on successful codes which are in force in places such as Brisbane, Western Australia, Victoria, and Townsville."

Brisbane City Council's Retailer Code of Practice was developed in partnership with retail associations, community agencies, and local and state government, and provides resources to help retailers:

* Identify products that may be misused. * Display and sell products in a way that is less attractive to substance abusers. * Identify potential users.

"This is the model I want to see adapted for New Zealand," says Mr Blumsky. "It will be important to work with central and local government as well as retailers to finalise the details and funding. The New Zealand Retailers Association have given me their full support, and are now very committed to help push this initiative through stores.

"I sent a letter to Jim Anderton asking for advice on the best way to involve Government and to help with funding for the Code of Practice kit. He has passed my letter to officials and asked that they consider my proposal as part of Government action in this area.

"I recognise that the code is only a first step in addressing a complicated problem. Though it should help to reduce the easy availability of these products, we will also need to address demand, enforcement and treatment issues. I am committed to that," says Mr Blumsky.


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