Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Drug Addiction ‘Shoot Up’ No Surprise

PRESS RELEASE

6 October 1999

Gael Donoghue
Health Spokesperson

DRUG ADDICTION ‘SHOOT UP’ NO SURPRISE

Gael Donoghue, Christian Heritage Party’s Health Spokesperson, was not surprised by today’s revelation by a Christchurch drug worker that as many as 40,000 New Zealanders may be addicted to hard drugs.

Nor was she surprised by the figure from the Health Ministry that 26,000 New Zealanders are addicted to opioid drugs, such as heroin. “This figure is apparently based on a 1996 report. If you add the annual increase over the last three years, the Christchurch figure is probably closer to reality,” she said.

Mrs Donoghue, herself a pharmacist, has witnessed the explosion of drug addiction in the country through the Methadone and needle exchange programmes in use. “For the last few years this country has sold hundreds and thousands of needles and syringes to anyone who wishes to purchase. Originally the scheme was limited to pharmacies in a carefully supervised manner. Now they are available from many outlets, from prostitute collectives to specific needle exchange programme centres.

“Whilst there are warning messages on the containers, I believe the programme adds ‘fuel to the fire’,” she said. “A parallel can easily be seen with the so-called ‘safe-sex’ message. Abortion figures, teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, especially in the young age groups of both male and female, have escalated alongside the wholesale use of ‘free’ pills and condoms.
2/…

“Of particular significance in the report is the observation that alcohol and drug use are leading causes of premature death, preventable ill health and social harm throughout the population. The spread of HIV and Hepatitis B and C among drug users who share needles is of particular concern but is again of absolutely no surprise. Many turn to crime to support their $1000 per week habit.

“Anyone involved with alcohol and drug addiction will tell you that these are symptoms arising from multiple problems – from youth experimentation and peer pressure to psychological, emotional and spiritual problems. Much of this can be laid at the break-down of the family that we have seen over the last 20 years in New Zealand,” she said. “Successive Governments have continued to throw money at these problems instead of addressing the root cause. This report shows $48 million spent in 1998/99 and requests $29 million more.

The Christian Heritage Party wants to address the failing rehabilitation services, but believes that a different approach in public policy is desperately needed. Support for families, especially in the children’s early years, encouragement in strengthening marriages and much more education in the perils of drug and substance abuse and misuse, together with education in self esteem, self worth and self control at an early age in the family and at school, will go a long way in the preventative area.

“The latest Government response to these figures is deeply unconvincing, given that professional advice has been ignored, in preference to pressure from small but politically powerful lobby groups. It is time for common sense and decent value systems to take precedence in public policy decision making,” Mrs Donoghue concluded.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Speech: NZ Moves To Red


Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday....
More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga


The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...
More>>



 
 



Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>


Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>


Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>



Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>


Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels