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Government Concerned At Drug Trend

August 28, 2002

Government Concerned At Drug Trend

The Minister of Customs Rick Barker says he’s concerned at the dramatic increase in the amount of amphetamine-type substances being seized by Customs.

So far this year Customs has seized approximately twice the amount of MDMA seized over the whole of 2001 and is also reporting significant increases in other amphetamine-type substances including methamphetamine and amphetamine.

Rick Barker says there’s no doubt that these drugs pose a threat to New Zealand.

“People talk about “party” drugs or “designer” drugs but the fact is these are hard drugs. Methamphetamine and amphetamine in particular are linked to violent crime and anti-social behaviour.

He says the Government’s policy is to use a balance of supply-control measures (controlling or limiting the availability of drugs), demand-reduction measures (reducing individual demand for drugs), and problem limitation (helping to reduce the effects of drug harm) to help minimise drug-related harm.

“Customs is doing excellent work in the supply-control area. It’s important to limit the amount of fuel for the fire of drug abuse in New Zealand.

“However it’s clear the increasing level of smuggling is driven by the increasing demand in New Zealand for these drugs.

“This Government is concerned about the impact of these drugs and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on ways to respond to this growing problem.”


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