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This is a summary of a report called “Drug and Alcohol Abuse in New Zealand,” published online by the Inter-Agency Committee on Drugs. Many people abuse drugs all over the world, but in New Zealand, there is a high rate of drug use in addition to alcohol use especially in the youth. An alarming 11% of New Zealand’s middle school students use alcohol or drugs in a way that could cause great harm to them later in their lives or is already making them a dependent (Inter-Agency Committee on Drugs, 2015).

Responding collaboratively to AOD harm

When young teens become dependent on alcohol or drugs (AOD), they are at a higher risk of having issues getting a job or keeping a job making them a harm to society. This is why the National Drug Policy of 2015-2020 set out to purposely address these issues in a strategic way, over the next 5 years, through creation of a policy to help local services, communities and other organizations make collaborative actions aimed at minimizing the harm caused by AOD as well as maintaining the health and wellness of those suffering from AOD. Through sharing a common framework, local governments can better reduce welfare dependents, support children who have parents with AOD issues, helps AOD-ridden people get and keep jobs and reduce the crime that is usually connected with AOD issues.

Objectives for AOD-harm minimization

With a shared goal of helping those with AOD issues get better and better impact their community and, thus, society as a whole, the strategies to do this are clear to avoid misunderstanding. The four objectives are keeping kids so busy in school that they don’t start using alcohol or drugs at an early age, reducing illnesses like hepatitis related to AOD and accidents caused by AOD abuse, minimizing drunk driving, and changing the way employers view people with AOD issues.

Strategies for AOD- harm minimization

The Policy created aims to helps those who are already dealing with AOD issues through implementation of healthcare treatment options for those in recovery, including the children. This pillar of the policy is called problem limitation and seeks to control what harm has already been done. The second strategy is under the pillar of demand reduction and seeks to keep kids busy enough through means of community action, education on AOD abuse, and promoting health to reduce kids abusing AOD. The last strategy is under the pillar of supply control and the aim is not to make AOD so readily available.


Through using a common framework that aims at implementing various strategies that include everyone from healthcare facilities to schools, a more comprehensive way to combat AOD-related harm can be had in New Zealand. By trying to control the borders of New Zealand more, drugs can stop going into the country and by shutting down New Zealand based drug growing, domestic distribution of drugs can be dramatically diminished.

Personal Response

New Zealand’s take on shifting how people view people suffering with AOD abuse is very helpful in trying to create job opportunities for those in recovery. It doesn’t help recovering addicts if they can’t get a job while they are trying to sober up because they have nothing but time to get high. Thus, New Zealand’s take on implementing employment opportunities for those in recovery is highly progressive.