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More rural support needed in as legal highs withdrawn

Media release
For immediate release
28 April 2014

More support needed in rural communities as legal highs withdrawn – Rural Women NZ

Rural Women NZ welcomes news that the Government is tackling the issue of legal highs, following reports from our members of a surge in anti-social and threatening behaviour in rural townships, apparently stemming from their use.

However Rural Women NZ says the withdrawal of supply from shops must be coupled with more resources in rural areas for those suffering from the effects of drug addiction, and their families.

“There is real concern in rural communities about the lack of access to specialist services,” says Rural Women NZ health spokesperson, Margaret Pittaway.

“Distance to treatment services and support for families can be a real barrier to getting the help required to overcome addiction, or deal with its results.”

It’s a hot topic that was highlighted when Rural Women NZ consulted its members on the Ministry of Health’s “New National Drug Policy”, which drew an unprecedented number of responses.

“Children, partners and the family budget are all affected by drug use, and the control of supply is a known way of minimising harm.”

In a proactive move, Rural Women NZ is conducting a sticker campaign to take a stand against family violence. The stickers, which people are encouraged to put on their letterboxes in a show of support, include contact details for the Ministry of Social Development’s Are You OK campaign.

Rural Women NZ also has a strong partnership with Crimestoppers, and would encourage anyone with safety concerns to call their 0800 number - 0800 555 111.


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