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Signs indicate that ‘P’ use is levelling off

29th October 2006

Early signs indicate that ‘P’ use is levelling off

Jim Anderton, Progressive Leader and Minister responsible for this government’s drug policy welcomed a report published in the New Zealand Medical Journal this weekend on trends in amphetamine use, including methamphetamine use in New Zealand.

“This report concludes there is “some evidence of a levelling out in the prevalence of use and some evidence of a relative decline in availability”’, Jim Anderton said.

“This is good news, and although I am not naïve enough to say that the problem of methamphetamine is solved in this country, it is heartening when you see some positive results from actions taken.

“When I became the minister responsible for illicit drugs in 2002, it was a priority to get some effective measures in place around this dangerous drug because of the harm it was, and still is causing in communities all over New Zealand.

“The first major steps were the reclassification of the drug to Class A, tighter regulation around the ingredients of the drug and more resources for enforcement.

“But it is not only these measures that this Labour-Progressive government has put in place that has made a difference. It is clear that the media and many other individuals and groups have played their part, especially in raising the public awareness of the horrors associated with this drug.” he said.

The report Recent population trends in amphetamine use in New Zealand: comparisons of findings from national household drug surveying in 1998, 2001 and 2003 refers to two types of environmental change that it concludes have played a part in the stabilisation of use. The first is the growing awareness among youth and drug users of the health risks and the second is the concerted law enforcement and legislative response to this drug type in New Zealand.

The report is on the New Zealand Medical Journal’s website at: http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/119-1244/2285/

ENDS

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