Student drug use falling - drug educator

Morning Talk 03/05/2018

A drug educator says youth drug and alcohol use is decreasing but students are very aware how available they are.

Ben Birks Ang, National Youth Services Advisor NZ Drug Foundation, told RadioLIVE’s Morning Talk that it’s clearly a good thing.

“What we’re hearing more and more is that students are exposed to feeling like there are drugs around their community, whether that’s the actual reality or not."

Many students want to have the conversation with their parents but find it difficult.

There are students at school whose parents and family members are influenced by drugs and alcohol and that is impacting on them.

Meanwhile the principal of Massey High School says we'd be ignorant not to educate children on meth use.

But the director of drug education group MethCon Dale Kirk says suggesting there's a safe way to use the drug is ridiculous, comparing it to "telling someone who has shot someone to wipe their prints off the gun".

"As a parent or a taxpayer, are you happy that your taxpayer money is being used to fund this material? I know I'm not. And certainly as a parent I'm not either.

The pamphlet, published by, suggested keeping less than five grams of meth for personal use to avoid being prosecuted, and advised that swallowing meth is safer than injecting it. It also provided tips about eating regularly and keeping hydrated while under the influence of meth.

The pamphlet was given to year 13 students as part of a larger document.

"It's two pages out of 25," principal Glen Denham told the AM Show on Thursday.

"Ignorance resides under the carpet and behind doors.

"The other [pages] talk about how insidious it is, how damaging it is to families. [The kids] very smart and they're very savvy. They review all the information they've got and they come up with some solutions."

Ben Birks Ang says many students want to talk about drugs with their parents but find it difficult to do so.

“Many of them do want to have these conversations with their parents but find it really hard to be able to raise it in conversation.”

Listen the full interview with Ben Birks Ang above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, 9am - 12pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.