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Aotearoa New Zealand free from drug harm

contents


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introduction

history

vision

mission

treaty

guide

being a catalyst

achievements

outcomes

www.drugfoundation.org.nz New Zealand Drug Foundation PO Box 3082, Wellington New Zealand p +64 4 801 6303 e admin@drugfoundation.org.nz


02 – 03

Together.


new zealand drug foundation

strategic direction


04 – 05

2013


new zealand drug foundation

strategic direction

Statement of Strategic Direction Mahere Rautaki

2017


06 – 07

introduction

Our new strategic direction represents a major shift in the role of the New Zealand Drug Foundation. While we’ve been very proud of our achievements over the past five years, we’re now turning the dial to 11 with


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the strong purpose of leading change in the way New Zealand deals with “the drug problem.� Underpinning this new direction is a renewed commitment to building effective partnerships with a broad range of people. It is our firm hope that you will share this sense of purpose and help support our work as we pledge to do the same.


08 – 09

history

Where we’ve come from

For the past five years, we have focused on building a strong, sustainable and successful organisation. We’ve achieved that by engaging in effective advocacy on a number of critical issues, through the expansion of our


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drug information services, and with increased investment by government and others. We’ve remained innovative with our communications, including greater use of social media, and we’ve broadened our relationships throughout the alcohol and other drug sector and beyond. As we head into our 25th year (2014), we are now in a position to use this strong foundation to lead and influence greater change and make a powerful impact to prevent drug harm. Make no mistake, we are ambitious.


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vision

Vision

Aotearoa New Zealand free from drug harm.


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12 – 13

mission

Mission

Be the catalyst for people, their com­ mun­ities, service providers and policy


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makers to take action that prevents drug harm.


14 – 15

treaty

Committed to meaningful relationships with tangata whenua and to diversity of cultures.


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The Drug Foundation is committed to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi through working co-operatively with whänau, hapü and iwi as well as Mäori organisations. Our commitment will be realised through effective communication and engagement with Mäori, our contribution to Mäori wellbeing and development of Mäori capacity to reduce drug harm. By respecting and fully committing to diversity of cultures in all aspects of our work, the Drug Foundation will be better placed to deliver and support effective responses among communities most affected by drug harm. We are particularly mindful of the special historical relationship New Zealand has with people from the Pacific region.

strategic direction


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guide

Guided by our values

If you want to go fast, go alone.


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strategic direction

If you want to go far, go together. You’ll notice our vision hasn’t changed, but our mission has and our way of working will too.


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being a catalyst

Being a catalyst means many things

For us, it means inspiring others to do better and recognising that we can’t do things alone. In this regard, we’re informed by the concept of ‘collective impact’, which demands the commitment of people from across


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different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific problem.

It also means being a critical friend, especially to government, to help shape and improve its response to preventing drug harm. During the life of this plan, we commit ourselves to building enduring consensus for new healthfocused drug policy and legislation. Any consensus will be built using the best evidence and knowledge.


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Consensus building is a priority for us. It means we will invest effort into engaging more deeply with people and organisations. In this regard, we are informed by the increasing importance of social media, not only as a tool to support more active engagement, but also because it has raised expectations that organisations stop talking at people and start two-way conversations. The Drug Foundation has identified a range of key stakeholders it will work with under this plan, but we want to make special mention of certain groups: those who are most affected by drugs and drug policy. This includes people who use drugs, especially young people, consumers of services, Mäori and Pasifika people. We commit ourselves to being inclusive when we develop policy or service responses. We are also committed to finding solutions that emphasise and value people’s and communities’ strengths. In doing so, we want to lead efforts that reduce stigma and discrimination faced by people most affected by drugs and drug policy. Threaded through all of this is the importance of good communication. We reckon our style can be described as communicating evidence with attitude, where we use the best public health science in a way that provokes positive change, be it in government policy or personal behaviour.

being a catalyst


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22 – 23

achievements

Quietly proud of our recent achievements

2006 2008 2008 Launched Get the Published Matters Co-sponsored Msg! – the world’s second txt-based drug help service

of Substance – the world’s best drug policy magazine

the first joint Cutting Edge/ APSAD conference

2010 Expanded the

2011 Hosted

2012 Launched Febfast

Foundation’s drug information service with the launch of DrugHelp and MethHelp resources

international addiction expert and former US deputy drug czar Tom McLellan at the Through the Maze: Making Treatment Better international symposium

in New Zealand, raising more than $200,000 for youth AOD services over two years


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2008 Hosted

2008 Conducted the

2009 Convened the

2012 Hosted UN

2012 Supported

2012 Entered two new

Australasian consultation and led New Zealand delegation for the Beyond 2008 programme

goodwill ambassador for addiction treatment Chris Kennedy Lawford to advance ‘recovery’

first research into drug driving in New Zealand

communities to address volatile substance harm

Through the Maze: Healthy Drug Law international symposium and supported the Law Commission’s Misuse of Drugs Act Review

agreements to expand our drug information services: a helping resource for cannabis and a campaign addressing drug-impaired driving


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outcomes


new zealand drug foundation

strategic direction

The five outcomes we are aiming to achieve

1 2 3 4 5

Law and public policy in New Zealand encourage more positive responses to prevent drug harm.

The alcohol and drug sector’s impact on the prevention and treatment of drug harm is more effective.

New Zealanders’ attitudes and behaviours about drug use positively change.

Effective responses to drug harm are found for new and emerging challenges.

Young New Zealanders stay engaged in education.


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outcomes

Law and public policy in New Zealand encourage more positive responses to prevent drug harm.

1 outcome


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here have been some significant shifts in the laws and policies that shape New Zealand’s response to drug harm. There is a growing recognition that drug treatment works and that drug problems are everyone’s business. This has resulted in a range of government agencies developing policies and programmes to address drug harm as they relate to their particular objectives. The increasing emphasis on providing interventions within the criminal justice system is a good example of positive change. However, we still have a long way to go. Despite the success of programmes such as the needle exchange and the evidence that treatment works, New Zealand continues to take an ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ approach to drug harm. The three pillars of the National Drug Policy are not given equal priority or funding, with preventative and public health approaches to reducing drug harm given significantly less investment than enforcement-related strategies. New Zealand is also lagging behind in re-evaluating the effectiveness of its legislative and policy response to drugs. As the Law Commission highlighted, our drug laws are obsolete and not based on current evidence. As the development of the Alcohol Reform Bill also highlighted, our approach to different drugs remains inconsistent. Ensuring New Zealand’s drug policy is coherent is a key issue, particularly with the introduction of a separate framework for new synthetic substances.


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What we want to achieve

outcomes

There are a number of significant opportunities to reshape New Zealand’s policy and legislative environment to be more supportive of health-focused responses to drug harm prevention. Our aim is to build an enduring consensus across a range of sectors (health, law enforcement, community) that strengthens the drug policy and legislative framework. These include: development of a new government National Drug Policy that places greater emphasis on health interventions successful implementation of the regulatory regime for new substances adoption of the cautioning and referral scheme recommended in the Law Commission’s Misuse of Drugs Act Review further strengthening of alcohol law, especially regarding pricing and marketing controls scaling up of effective harmreduction services.


new zealand drug foundation

Key activities

strategic direction

Fearless direct advocacy for healthy drug law reform and supporting others to influence national and local policy. Providing opportunities for consensus building and knowledge exchange between people and organisations working to reduce drug harm and actively facilitating collective impact between these groups. To begin this work, we will convene a consensus-building national drug policy summit in August 2013. Continue to publish our well regarded Matters of Substance magazine and seek to build a broader readership. Convene our biennial International Drug Policy: Through the Maze Symposiums.


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outcomes

The alcohol and drug sector’s impact on the prevention and treatment of drug harm is more effective.

2 outcome


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C

onstraints on funding and the government’s determination to get more value where it does invest public money require agencies to demonstrate their effectiveness. This is a real challenge for alcohol and drug agencies, which are also facing increasing expectations to meet a growing demand for their services. It’s estimated that, by 2020, the demand for health services, including mental health and addiction services, will have doubled while funding will increase by only 30–40 percent. The government’s Better, Sooner, More Convenient primary care strategy emphasises health interventions in primary care and other settings, as well as earlier and brief interventions to more quickly identify people needing help. The recently launched Blueprint II and Mental Health and Addiction Service Development Plan also spell this out very clearly: “We need to do things very differently if we are to extend access to a broader range of responses… The results we are seeking can’t be achieved by making minor changes.” The Drug Foundation is well placed as a leader in the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sector to shepherd agencies to become more joined up across education, community action, harm reduction, public health, primary health, justice and addiction treatment in order to develop more effective models of care. We especially see an important role for us to champion more effective public health and health promotion responses.


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What we want to achieve

outcomes

People and agencies working to prevent drug harm more effectively together as a part of a joined-up AOD sector, leading to fewer people who need support ‘falling through the cracks’ and young people receiving quality services before crisis. Knowledge and information developed by the Drug Foundation leads to practice change and improvement across the AOD sector and beyond. Leaders in the AOD sector are ‘on the same page’ with the latest drugs, treatment and prevention approaches, policy and communicating similar messages publicly. Funders shift their investment towards evidence-based health promotion programmes that are demonstrated to prevent drug harm. Effective harm-reduction services are scaled up to fully meet the needs of people who use drugs.


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Key activities

strategic direction

Develop a new model for a joined-up AOD sector, with a strong focus on prevention and health promotion in community settings. Work with others to develop national standards for drug harm prevention workers and services. Create a shared framework for the AOD sector to share information. Effectively support the workforce to only use evidence-based approaches/models that work to reduce drug harm. Provide advice to funders on effective models of drug harm prevention.


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outcomes

New Zealanders’ attitudes and behaviours about drug use positively change.

3 outcome


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Feedback received on www.drughelp.org.nz

It was one of your videos that helped me enrol on to my rehab programme ‘coz I saw an influential MÄ ori lady on it which inspired me.

A

major survey of our attitudes towards drugs found the majority considered drug problems were community problems (vs law enforcement ones) and that most recognise the role for care and support for those with drug-related problems. Each year, the World Drug Report exposes New Zealand as a country with some of the highest drug use in the world. Eighty-four percent of adult New Zealanders drink regularly, and nearly half of all alcohol is consumed on heavy drinking occasions. Almost half of all New Zealanders have tried cannabis, and 385,000 people use it regularly. About 4.5 percent of people who have ever used drugs receive help to reduce their use. The National Council for Addiction Treatment has estimated that only about one in four people get the help they need. A major barrier to accessing help is people not knowing where to go. Media coverage of alcohol and other drug issues is often unable to fully communicate the complexities of drug harm, including dependency, and instead tends to highlight the criminality around drugs or binge drinking by young people. At the same time, there has been a rapid change in the way people access help and information using websites and smart phones. We have witnessed this in the usage of our own website, with a rapidly changing proportion of people accessing our resources on tablets and smart phones. We have a responsibility to ensure we respond to this new need, particularly with our helping websites (DrugHelp, MethHelp and PotHelp).


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What we want to achieve

outcomes

We will lead efforts to promote help-seeking for people who need it while, at the same time, shifting the conversation about New Zealand’s ‘drug problem’ in a way that reduces stigma on people who use drugs and prevents drug harm. For our own work, this means transforming our activities from being information only (i.e. one-way) to services that build strong engagement with people who use them (two-way), especially younger people. Here we want to take advantage of the best social media has to offer to deepen our engagement with people who use our services. We will also update our resources to be accessible by mobile devices.


new zealand drug foundation

Key activities

strategic direction

Continue to develop and extend our online drug harm prevention support tools, e.g. MethHelp, DrugHelp and PotHelp, including developing online, self-help interventions. Reconfigure our drug prevention and health promotion service in ways that increase its reach and promote greater connection between us and people who use it, e.g. Get the Msg!, Drugs in Focus and social media. Manage FebFast as an intervention to increase people’s awareness of their alcohol use. Advocate for health-focused drug policy and law in a way that supports destigmatisation. Engage with the media to encourage positive and accurate reporting of drug-related issues. Develop a new programme to help employers proactively and effectively support employees who have drug use challenges.


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outcomes

Effective responses to drug harm are found for new and emerging challenges.

4 outcome


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he Drug Foundation has demonstrated its ability to react and respond quickly to new and emerging challenges and is often called upon to lead activities to meet these challenges and to formulate responses for which little evidence exists. Challenges in recent years include drug-impaired driving and volatile substance abuse.


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What we want to achieve

outcomes

Our focus is to be proactive in understanding trends, identifying issues and designing innovative solutions to them, then assisting others to implement these solutions in their communities.


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Key activities

strategic direction

Strengthen our outreach to support communities and services to respond to volatile substances. Successfully implement our drug-impaired driving campaign, Driving High, for which we have recently secured funding. Develop, or support development of a national information protocol for emerging substances. Monitor prescription medicine misuse.


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outcomes

Young New Zealanders stay engaged in education.

5 outcome


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strategic direction

n addition to the previous outcomes, the Drug Foundation has identified an issue we think deserves specific and urgent attention.

Evidence very clearly identifies that a young person’s engagement in education and connection to their school is one of the most important protective factors in their lives. Students who feel connected to their school are less likely to engage in many risk behaviours, including alcohol, tobacco and drug use. Disconnection from school, especially physical disconnection resulting from stand-downs and exclusions, increases the likelihood that young people will experience drug harm. Despite numerous government policies and guidelines, the way schools address substance issues remains extremely inconsistent. Substance use persists in being one of the main reasons learners are removed from school. Schools continue to stand down, suspend and exclude more Mäori learners than any other ethnic group. It’s clear to us that many schools are perfectly able to do the right thing and invest in keeping students engaged in education, including providing appropriate health interventions for learners’ substance use, but other schools are not so able. How can those schools be supported to operate under best practice for their learners?


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outcomes

It is not right that this matter is left in the ‘too hard’ basket. Over the life of this plan, we commit ourselves to work at all levels to ensure all schools adopt the most effective health policies and interventions to keep students engaged. This commitment cuts across all the other four outcomes outlined above: Government, Ministry of Education and schools’ policy. AOD and primary health services provided to schools and students. Drug information and education interventions for schools, young people and their families. Specific interventions to prevent volatile substance abuse and use of other high-risk substances.


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We are committed to building effective partnerships. It is our hope that you will find areas in common between your work and our plan. If you do, we want to hear from you. Talk to us, and together, we can build on Aotearoa New Zealand free from drug harm. Together.


New Zealand Drug Foundation Statement of Strategic Direction