Known level of users

New Zealand’s most commonly used drug for recreational purposes is cannabis.

A 2010 New Zealand Ministry of Health report stated that one in six (16.6%) of New Zealanders ages 16 to 64 had used recreational drugs in the past year. The report covers recreational drug use, other than alcohol and tobacco, including illegal drugs and drugs used for illicit purposes.

Of that group, a whopping 88% reported they had used cannabis.

Following cannabis, the most popular drugs (in order) were BZP party pills, ecstasy, amphetamines, and LSD and other synthetic hallucinogens.

A Scary Statistic

One in three (34.5%) of those who used drugs in the past year, reported having driven a car or another motor vehicle (such as a motorcycle or a boat) while feeling under the influence. And this was just those who realised they were under the influence, a number of others would have driven without realising they were still impaired.

Harmful Effects

Some of the most common harmful effects experienced by users related to:

  • financial position (10.8%)
  • friendships or social life (8.5%)
  • home life (8.4%)
  • work, study or employment opportunities (6.5%) and
  • having had one or more days off work or school (7.2%)

Overall, about one in five (18.6%) who used drugs in the past year experienced some kind of harmful effect.