Drugs & Alcohol

The illegitimate use of drugs has a detrimental effect on our society, we have seen examples of drug induced offenders taking the lives of innocent citizens and children, we are aware that dishonesty offences are committed by the drug addicts need to purchase illegal drugs and we are aware that fatal motor accidents are caused by those intoxicated through the consumption of drugs and alcohol or a mixture of both. The result not only results in a tragic loss of life, but also leads to the disintegration of the family unit in which our most vulnerable should always feel safe. Our families are our future, and we must nurture, value and protect them. The Police will always do what they can to prevent violence and apprehend offenders, but often they are alerted too late – the damage has been done.

The frustration is that many cases are preventable. In most instances, someone knows about previous violence and/or the drug and/or alcohol problems of the abuser. In some cases, the abuser knows full well the consequences and effects of taking illicit drugs such as “P” or binge drinking, but will not take responsibility for their actions.

As a community, we can do a lot to curb the growing problem of drug abuse. Relatives, friends and neighbours must report what they know, even if their knowledge is restricted to events that merely lead to suspicions. Lives might be saved if they talk to the Police, social workers, or even trusted friends. Abusers also know what they are doing – they have a choice about whether to take substances that can lead to violence. They must take responsibility for seeking help that can make them better parents, better partners, better workmates and better members of the community. Friends and family can be key motivators in getting them to find that help.

This booklet has a strong focus on methamphetamines, or “P”. This drug is very addictive and very detrimental to the physical and mental well-being of the user. Legal, herbal-based drugs have also appeared in recent years, the market for such substances is believed to be worth about $25 million a year. Although they can be sold to anyone aged over 18, some intensive research is being carried out to establish just how dangerous they might be. While they might seem to be safe in themselves, it is clear they are being taken by young people in combination with alcohol and other drugs. They are banned in Sweden, the United States, and in home Australian states.

This booklet has been produced to help acquaint parents, at-risk teenagers and concerned individuals with the facts about drugs. We have focused on methamphetamines because they represent a disturbing change in the New Zealand drug scene.

New Zealand Police want to reduce the supply of illegal, harmful drugs and make our community safer. Armed with the right information, we hope you can help.

Inspector Dave Montgomery
Chairman, The Police Managers’ Guild Trust