Drugs and Alcohol

 Pink panther after a big nightAlcohol & drug addiction

Looking for a drug and alcohol counsellor? Alcohol and tobacco are the most commonly used drugs in New Zealand, followed by cannabis (marijuana, pot, weed), methamphetamine (“P”, speed, crystal), ecstasy (MDMA), hallucinogens (LSD, Magic Mushrooms), opiates (heroin, opium, codeine) and other prescription drugs such as sleeping pills and sedatives.

Often people will turn to alcohol and drugs because of stress or a lack of other ways of managing painful emotions. With alcohol and other commonly used drugs, frequent use can cause physical dependence that also needs assessment and treatment.


NZ Herald 5th Nov 2016
About 10 per cent of New Zealanders are addicted to alcohol

Anyone, given the right biology and environment, can suffer from it

As alcohol is frequently used socially in New Zealand, it can be hard to tell if your use is a problem. Often we are surrounded by people drinking the same amount, as frequently as ourselves. It may be that you have always used alcohol and drugs and never thought of them as causing you problems.

“Alcohol and drugs were the only things in my life that I could rely on – everything and everyone else had let me down.”

If you are unsure if your alcohol use is a problem, the following questions may help:

Is my drinking a habit? YES, if you regularly drink to:

  • Socialise with other regular drinkers
  • Binge drink to enjoy yourself
  • Relax, relieve anxiety or go to sleep
  • Be more comfortable in social situations
  • Avoid thinking about sad or unpleasant things

Is my drinking a problem? YES, if it contributes to:

  • Relationships or family problems
  • Work or money problems
  • Health or emotional problems
  • Legal problems

Is my drinking serious? YES, if causing:

  • Have tried to stop drinking for a week or so but only quit for a few days
  • Find other people make comments to you about your drinking
  • Have a drink in the morning to get yourself going after drinking heavily the night before
  • Can’t remember what happened while you were drinking
  • Have hurt yourself or someone else as a result of your drinking

Getting Help

If you have any concerns about your alcohol or drug use, it helps to talk to professionals trained in this area. They can help you decide if your use is a problem, and make some practical plans to start changing your usage, so you feel more in control.