Drug abuse containment

Drug abuse containment activities are carried out by Medicines Control staff in conjunction with two Medical Officers of Health who have wide powers under both the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 and the Medicines Act 1981.

The activities of the Medicines Control staff in the drug abuse containment area include:

  • liaising with doctors, pharmacists and addiction services in relation to drug abuse and misuse issues
  • monitoring controlled drug prescribing
  • working with the Medical Officers of Health in the preparation of Restriction Notices for drug seekers and writing to practitioners if there are any concerns regarding possible aberrant prescribing of controlled drugs or medicines
  • advising health professionals of current drug misuse issues
  • liaising with Police and other agencies locally and nationally on drug misuse
  • preparing reports for the disciplinary processes of the Medical Council, Dental Council and Pharmacy Council
  • providing advice on the requirements of the Misuse of Drugs Act and Medicines Act.

Please contact Medicines Control to report or discuss problems including suspected diversion of prescribed medication for illicit use, abuse of medication, forged prescriptions, and instances of unusual prescribing issues. We can provide advice regarding legislative requirements and drug seeking.

Restriction notices: A restriction notice is a legal document issued by the Medical Officer of Health. The restriction limits prescribing to a named person. A restriction notice is issued where there is clear evidence that the person has been obtaining medication from a number of different practitioners, obtaining multiple or overlapping supplies from one practitioner, is likely to seek further supplies, is capable of self harm or has been proved to be selling their medication.

A restriction notice relates to the specific conditions for that person. Approx twice a year a list of currently restricted persons throughout New Zealand is provided to doctors, pharmacists and appropriate services. If you require more detailed information on the conditions of an individual restriction notice please contact Medicines Control.

Back to top