Police and Ministry of Health are celebrating success and claim that they are “winning” the battle against Methamphetamine (P) use in New Zealand after the results of a Ministry of Health survey showed a reduction in Methamphetamine use.
At a recent seminar held at Auckland University, Government drug officials announced a reduction in usage from 2.1% to 1% of people aged between 16-64 based on their own figures, describing this as “enormously significant” and that it “can not be over-exaggerated”
However a separate but concurrent Massey University survey showed a significant increase in ‘P’ usage amongst Police detainees from 29% to 38%
Managing Director of drug education consultancy Methcon Group and former Police drug squad detective, Dale Kirk, says that these conflicting results only serves to clearly demonstrate the unreliability of drug use statistics.
“It worries me when authorities start patting themselves on the back like this. Drug stats are inherently unreliable and should always be taken with a grain of salt.”
“The 180 clan labs discovered in 2011 was actually a 40% increase from the previous two years.”
“We are also seeing an increase in Clan labs which have been manufacturing other synthetic drugs such as MDMA, GBL and 4-MEC”
“All of these drugs pose significant harm to the public and in particular young people and indicate increased demand for a wide range of stimulant and mind altering drugs”
“Increased funding for enforcement and treatment, whilst obviously important and effective, will not stem demand for drugs; and where demand exists, so will supply”
“Its time to step harder on the accelerator with a decent education and marketing campaign about ALL drugs to compliment the increase in funding for treatment and enforcement.”
“Recent Government announcements to this effect are reasons for some optimism, however a long term approach needs to be taken with a view to permanently shaping public awareness of drug issues”
“As drug educators working in communities throughout New Zealand, the constant question Methcon Group gets from parents and the public generally is “Why is there no Government funding for advertising and drug education in schools?”
“I’m looking forward to the day when I can be the bearer of good news”
Dale Kirk Managing Director Methcon Group Ltd