This document was written initially for the Health Funding Authority to provide a national direction for the ongoing development of alcohol and drug treatment services.
The Ministry of Health has produced this strategy to assist with the development of alcohol and other drug treatment services for people with substantial to severe substance use related problems.
Many New Zealanders use caffeine through the consumption of tea and coffee whilst significant sections of our population regularly consume alcohol and use tobacco. An increasing number are also using illegal drugs as well as misusing prescription medicines. Untreated substance abuse and dependency have large economic, health and social costs, both to the individual and the wider community. This is most notably reflected in health, social services and criminal justice expenditure. The National Drug Policy (NDP) recognises the continuum of harm associated with substance use and that no single approach or set of strategies can adequately address the possible range of harm.
The goal of this strategy reflects the national goal expressed in the National Drug Policy and in The New Zealand Health Strategy, ‘as far as possible and within available resources, to minimise harm caused by excessive alcohol and other drug use to individuals and the community’. The development of this strategy has been based on the priorities and objectives expressed in the National Drug Policy, Moving Forward and the National Mental Health Funding Plan 1998– 2002.