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Matters of Substance article

Mescaline

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mescaline is an alkaloid that causes hallucinogenic effects similar to those of LSD and psilocybin (magic mushrooms). It occurs naturally in several varieties of cactus, most notably peyote (native to Mexico) and the San Pedro cactus (native to Peru).

 

Matters of Substance article

Our ‘psycho’ psychoactive substances legislation

Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Zealand’s Psychoactive Substances Act has been described as world leading and incredibly innovative. But during 2014, public moral apoplexy and political disquiet over animal testing has resulted in a seeming reversal of what the legislation was designed to achieve. Is our groundbreaking legislation dead in the water, or is there yet a way forward? Russell Brown provides an update.

 

Matters of Substance article

A remarkable lifetime achievement

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tihi Puanaki – a driving force behind award-winning kapa haka group Te Kotahitanga for more than four decades – has just won a Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s Pride of New Zealand Awards for her contribution to Ma¯ori education. Along the way, she has helped many people kick serious drug and alcohol addictions. Stories and photo by Matt Calman.

Tihi

Matters of Substance article

Where there’s smoke, there’s sugar

Sunday, November 30, 2014

If there’s one thing Dirty Politics has made clear, it’s that astroturfing (masking who’s really behind the message) is alive and well in New Zealand. Keith Ng reports.

Dave Bryans, President of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association and a former RJ Reynolds executive, introduced himself as a loser at the New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores (NZACS) conference in November 2009.

Matters of Substance article

A court that heals, part one

Sunday, November 30, 2014

New Zealand’s drug court pilot celebrates two years of operation in November. Each of its 18 graduates came from the ‘hard basket’ – typically repeat offenders with a long history of victims, convictions and prison time. They have substance issues and are facing a court that prioritises recovery over punishment. Keri Welham visits the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court with photographer Stephen Piper.

Matters of Substance article

How well are pre-charge warnings working?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pre-charge warnings have quietly become a valuable new tool in the policing tool box and an effective way of getting minor crime out of an overloaded court system. But after four years, the greatest strength of the precharge warning has also become its biggest weakness. Sofia Wenborn reports

 

Matters of Substance article

Poppy Seeds

Sunday, November 30, 2014

You scoff a few poppy seed bagels and then take a routine workplace drug test later in the afternoon. The result comes back positive for opiates, and you realise your choice of lunch has put you under suspicion of having a heroin habit. Sounds far-fetched? Mythbusters investigates the surprisingly potent poppy seed effect.

Poppy seed buns

Matters of Substance article

Dr John Crawshaw

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dr John Crawshaw was appointed Director and Chief Advisor of Mental Health in November 2011. As the principal advisor to the government on matters of mental health, he fulfils several key statutory functions. He has also served as the Chair of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ Board of Education.

Matters of Substance article

Pregnancy warnings on alcohol labels

Sunday, November 30, 2014

In 2011, a trans-Tasman food labelling review, led by New Zealand, recommended the introduction of pregnancy health warning labels on alcohol products in New Zealand and Australia. The primary motivation was to help address soaring rates of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Trans-Tasman ministers responsible for food safety gave the alcohol industry two years to voluntarily introduce a system of warnings, after which the situation would be reviewed. The implication was the industry should get it right or face compulsory labelling.