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P- Report shows more people getting treatment

P- Report shows more people getting treatment


Prime Minister John Key says the latest Indicators and Progress Report for the Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan shows more prisoners are completing drug treatment programmes.

The report released today shows more than 1000 prisoners a year are starting programmes in a drug treatment unit – more than double the number in 2008/2009. Over three-quarters of prisoners successfully complete their programme.

“We know that two thirds of our prison population have substance abuse problems, so the high completion rate for these programmes is encouraging,” says Mr Key.

“We also know many prisoners find remaining substance-free challenging, which is why National campaigned on rolling out specialist after-care programmes for prisoners who have completed a three - or six-month drug treatment unit programme following release from prison.

“We’ve also increased the treatment options available in the community, with the latest report showing a further reduction in waiting times.”

The report shows the price of methamphetamine remains high – around $100 per ‘point’ and $700 per gram, prices which have been steady since the Methamphetamine Action Plan was launched in 2009.

The prevalence of P in New Zealand has more than halved, from a high of 2.2 per cent of the population in 2009 to 1 per cent in the past year – up slightly from 0.9 per cent of the population a year ago.

“When the Methamphetamine Action Plan was launched, New Zealand had one of the highest P prevalence rates in the world,” says Mr Key.

“The fact that rate has more than halved is testament to the efforts of law enforcement, border and health agencies over the past five years. That effort has to be maintained in order to squeeze the trade in illicit drugs and to prevent New Zealanders becoming addicted to P.”

When the Methamphetamine Action Plan was launched in 2009 it included 21 cross agency actions, including ending the sale of over-the-counter pseudoephedrine, increasing the capacity of alcohol and drug treatment services, and targeting funds forfeited under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act to rehabilitation and crime-fighting initiatives.

All but one of those actions have now been completed. The outstanding action, replacing the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Act 1966, is expected to begin next year.

“Around $50 million in criminal proceeds has been forfeited, and about half is directly linked to methamphetamine offences,” says Mr Key. “So far, $11 million has been used to support a range of initiatives, including cash detection training for drug dogs, the Alcohol and Drug Treatment Court Pilot, and rehabilitation programmes.”

Mr Key says since gangs remain a principal source of meth supply and sale the whole-of-government action plan on tacking gangs will be an important part of the next phase in cracking down on supply.

The Methamphetamine Action Plan’s next update will be in 12 months’ time, and will coincide with the next Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act funding round.

The latest report is available at www.dpmc.govt.nz/dpmc/publications/methamphetamine.

ends

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