Softening police attitude on meth addiction welcomed
Addiction Practitioner’s Association welcomes softening police attitude on meth addiction
29 August 2016
The Addiction Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa New Zealand (dapaanz) commends recent comments by Waitemata Police after they successfully concluded their investigations into a methamphetamine supply ring.
Dapaanz Executive Director Sue Paton said indications by Detective Inspector Hayden Mander that the clients of the methamphetamine suppliers would be given prevention advice and access to support services shows a welcome softening approach by law enforcement that would go a long way towards reducing New Zealand’s methamphetamine problem.
“We have no quarrel with coming down hard on those who supply large quantities of this drug and prey upon the weakness of those who have become addicted to it.
“However, the best way to reduce supply is to reduce demand by helping addicted people overcome their dependence; by recognising they have a health problem; and by supporting them accordingly.”
Ms Paton said Detective Mander’s comments clearly indicated that he sees addicted people as being exploited.
“If that is so, and we believe in most cases it is, then we need to ensure that good services are available and that they receive adequate resources so these people can be helped, demand is reduced and our communities are safer.
“This is especially so in light of continuing reports from around the country, backed by the experiences of our own practitioners, that methamphetamine is becoming cheaper and easier to obtain.
“Now more than ever we need to put resources into identifying people early who may be in danger of becoming addicted to this destructive drug lest we find ourselves engulfed in another methamphetamine epidemic.
“We therefore hope the attitude displayed by the police in Waitemata will become the norm for law enforcement in New Zealand.”