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Education on P Dangers Should Start Early

9 November, 2009

Education on P Dangers Should Start Early

Almost 60 percent of New Zealanders believe education about the dangers posed by pure methamphetamine (P) use and addiction should start as early as primary and intermediate school level.

The scale of the P problem in New Zealand and New Zealanders’ desire to counter the epidemic is clearly defined in national poll commissioned by the Stellar Trust, one of the organisations working to reduce the influence and impact of the drug on communities.

“The results from the Perceptive Research survey are quite stunning, particularly in defining the ages where New Zealanders believe education about this terrible drug should begin,” says Stellar Trust Chairman, Alistair Burry.

“I would have to say we were a little surprised by the Perceptive results that showed 24 percent of New Zealanders believed late primary school was the right place to target education initiatives, with another 35 percent recommending intermediate school level.

“In all 94 percent of New Zealanders felt education about the dangers of P should be targeted at pupils no later than their early high school years. That shows to me just how worried people are about the insidious influence of this drug.”

Mr Burry said the survey had been commissioned to try and gauge the influence and impact of P on the lives of New Zealanders and to assess where the Stellar Trust should be targeting its programmes.

“Slightly more than one in five New Zealanders (22 percent) have a family member or know someone through friends or the workplace who has been addicted to or affected by this drug with 20% of those affected being a direct family member.

“Equally as disturbing is that almost one in five New Zealanders (17 percent) have been the victim of or know someone who has been the victim of a P-related crime. That really shows the depth of the problem we are trying to overcome and beat in our society.”

The survey also looked at the question of the recent Government decision stopping over the counter sales of pseudoephedrine in New Zealand and found 83% of New Zealanders supported that policy on the basis that it may stop a P fuelled crime or save an innocent person.

“The focus seemed to go on that one measure announced in the Government’s recent comprehensive package to combat the influence of P so we thought we’d test the public’s appetite for what initially appeared to be a measure of mixed popularity,” said Mr Burry.

“I think that result shows the public gets the need to introduce measures to choke off the flow of ingredients to the manufacturers.

“When you add in proposals to stop access to ingredients at our international borders, cut the supply and distribution chains, and provide more help and education to those already caught up by addiction and those at risk of trying the drug, that policy announcement was wide ranging and we look forward to the Trust playing its support role in providing assistance to the Community.”

About the Stellar Trust: The Stellar Trust was formed in late 2008 by the East Auckland Rotary Club of Auckland. The Trust is a charitable organisation with the goals of:

The promotion of a climate of resistance against P

The promotion and support of drug resistance programmes for school pupils, employers and employees on the dangers of using P

Providing training programmes for parents and in workplaces to recognise the signs of P use or addiction

Raising the profile of the issue in the community to “turn the tide” against P

Working with Government and other agencies to influence policy to stop this drug


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