2 Mar 2009

Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis NZ drugs of choice - survey

8:57 pm on 2 March 2009

Research by the University of Otago in 2003 has confirmed alcohol, tobacco and cannabis are the drugs most used by New Zealanders.

The study looked at what percentage of the population used drugs for non-medicinal purposes.

More than 12,000 people were interviewed for a survey conducted in conjunction with the World Health Organisation on the use of drugs for non-medicinal purposes.

It found 94% of the population had tried alcohol, more than 50% had smoked tobacco and 41% had used cannabis.

Cocaine and heroin use was 4.2% and almost 3%, respectively.

Associate professor Elisabeth Wells says the figures are similar to other countries, except in the use of cannabis

She says marijuana's popularity was attributed to it being homegrown and relatively easy to access.

The drug methamphetamine, also known as "P", was omitted from the study as the information was collated in 2003 when its use was considered minimal.