Characteristics of amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) use in New Zealand : informing policy responses

Wilkins, Chris and Reilly, James and Rose, Emily and Casswell, Sally (2005) Characteristics of amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) use in New Zealand : informing policy responses. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand (25). pp. 142-153. (

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New Zealand has recently experienced dramatic increases in seizures of amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) drugs and detections of clandestine amphetamine laboratories. Secondary analysis of ATS drug use in New Zealand from the 2001 National Drug Survey highlighted the greater harms associated with frequent ATS use and identified potential risks associated with increased use of ATS, such as the spread of intravenous drug use and the increased demand for other “hard” drug types. Crystal methamphetamine users emerged as the ATS-using group with the highest levels of daily use, poly-drug use, intravenous drug use and opioid use. The findings suggest New Zealand drug treatment and law enforcement resources will be more effective when applied to frequent ATS and crystal methamphetamine users. The work also underlined the rationale for an indicator drug survey that can track changes in drug-use patterns, including levels of intravenous administration, within a time frame that allows effective agency responses before drug problems become entrenched. The Office of the Commissioner of New Zealand Police has already made progress in this direction.