Study finds 28 percent of middle-aged kiwis have tried meth - and reveals the drug's links with violence

4:51 pm on 19 February 2020 


More than a quarter of middle-aged New Zealanders have tried methamphetamine at least once, according to a recently published study from Otago University.

The study, which was recently published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal, found 28 percent of participants reported using the drug at least once between the age of 18 and 35, while 11 percent used it monthly at some point and 4.9 percent had used it weekly at some point.

Director of the Christchurch Health and Development Study Professor Joe Boden said the study also revealed the drug's link with violence.

"There's about a 60 percent increase in risk of violent assault - that's during a period when a person has reported using meth and told us that they had assaulted someone," he said.

International research and intelligence showed global drug supply networks originating in Asia had broadened their reach in the last decade and were now trafficking more pure crystalline forms of methamphetamine, which led to a greater burden of methamphetamine harms and the perception of harms, he said.

Methamphetamine was the third most common illicit drug after cannabis and ecstasy, according to Christchurch Health and Development Study data.

Radio NZ 19-2-20

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