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UNITED Policy - Drug Abuse & Dependency

New Zealand’s Liberal Party

United New Zealand
Parliament Buildings Wellington.


Drug Abuse & Dependency

United New Zealand recognises the detrimental effects drug and alcohol abuse has on individuals, families and society. Approximately 80% of all crime is drug or alcohol related with 70% of all prison inmates admitting they have had a dependency problem at some time in their life.

It is therefore vital to have a balanced, comprehensive drug strategy which focuses reasonably equally on prevention (education), deterrence and treatment. Attempting to deal with the problem of drug dependency in a piecemeal manner is a recipe for exacerbating the problem. Our policy therefore has a focus on prevention.

Interim Initiatives


Establish a Strategic Task Force on Drugs to determine the level of drug use and misuse in society and establish a public awareness campaign.
Establish a Drug Education Authority to approve scientific and educational information on drugs.
Analyse overseas treatment and deterrence programmes to determine worthwhile processes.
Introduce drug education into the intermediate and secondary school curricula.
Promote assistance programmes including peer support and research into the role of drugs and alcohol in youth suicides.

Drugs & Health

Ensure proper funding for residential treatment centres.
Institute a review on methadone availability and reliance.
Encourage greater emphasis on co-ordination between alcohol and drug services and mental health services.
Ensure drug problems are treated by appropriate agencies and any underlying psychoses treated in the appropriate facility.
Place health warnings on certain solvent products and gases.

Drugs & the Law

Offer an educational and treatment option as an alternative to a legal process when an individual is apprehended for drug use.
Re-classify drugs so they relate more effectively to health, behavioural and legal problems.
Require prison inmates to take full toxicology testing on admission to prison, to establish the level of drug use and provide them with a clean start through tailored programmes.
Increase commitment to drug-free prison units and establish drug-free prisons.
Encourage worksite drug testing alongside employee assistance programmes.

A Strategic Task Force on Drugs to determine the level of drug use and misuse and launch an appropriate public awareness campaign.

A Drug Education Authority.

Drug education in intermediate and secondary school curricula.

Adequately and properly funded residential treatment centres.

Better co-ordination between alcohol and drug services and mental health.

Drug free prisons actively promoted through an integrated strategy.


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