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2015-2020 National Drug Policy released

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The 2015-2020 National Drug Policy has been launched at Parliament today by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne.

The Policy sets the Government’s approach to minimise harm from alcohol and other drugs for the next five years.

"Alcohol and drug issues are first and foremost health issues, so it is crucial that our response be focused on minimising harm," said Mr Dunne.

"We need to be compassionate, innovative and proportionate."

The new Policy adopts a broader definition of harm minimisation and also emphasises the need to promote and protect health and wellbeing.

"Drug issues are closely bound up with social factors like income, housing and education," said Mr Dunne.

"The more holistic approach in this Policy will help the Government respond more appropriately to the problems they pose."

The new Policy also includes an initial action plan, which runs until 2017. The Policy includes actions of varying sizes across a number of agencies. They include:

- the development of an action plan to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders,

- the development of a multi-agency Early Warning System to identify and monitor new drugs and respond appropriately

- and the implementation of the Whole of Government Action Plan on Tackling Gangs.

The Policy also sets out the Government’s intended actions to respond to the Law Commission’s 2011 review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.

The Government will not seek to amend the primary Act at this time, but will undertake a series of actions to determine how well it is operating in practice.

"Another big difference with this version of the Policy is that we have much more accountability," added Mr Dunne.

"The Policy contains measurable objectives for reducing alcohol and drug harms, and government agencies are required to report to Cabinet on these annually."

"The National Drug Policy 2015-2020 is a compassionate and progressive policy, and I am proud to be able to deliver it."

You can see the policy from 5.00pm today at: http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/mental-health-and-addictions/drug-policy/national-drug-policy

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