Talking FASD: Millions of dollars seized from criminals to be invested in anti-drug initiatives
New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key has announced that $5.1 million will be spent on anti-drug initiatives reports Stuff.con.nz
Prime Minister John key
The amount of methamphetamine seized by police has almost tripled in the last year but that’s good news for anti-drug initiatives.
The more than $5.1 million worth of assets seized from criminals will be invested in initiatives, including stopping drugs at the border and clamping down on production and distribution across the country, Prime Minister John Key said.
Customs and police intercepted 293kg of the drug, commonly known as P, in the past year compared with 105kg the year before.
The Indicators and Progress Report for the Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan was released on Wednesday and revealed the average age of P users has increased.
Fewer young people are using the drug, while use rates remain below 1 per cent, Key said.
“The availability of treatment and the number of associated convictions have also increased and the price of the drug remains high.”
A total of 13 programmes will receive a share of the $5.1m – $1m of which will be spent on preventing, identifying and responding to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Key said prenatal exposure to alcohol is one of the country’s “leading preventable causes of birth defects and intellectual disability”.
“Supporting these projects will also help with the Government’s wider efforts to combat methamphetamine,” he said.
Other initiatives include FirstDefender substance identification instruments to help Customs officials better detect drugs at the border, which will be purchased for $976,893, and $721,000 will be spent on more police anti-cannabis surveillance flights.
The other big spend is $880,000 to help police recover costs under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act.
The additional money brings the total amount invested under the Act in anti-drug programmes to $17.2m since 2013.