Alcohol is the most commonly used recreational drug in New Zealand. The Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) emphasises the importance of both the pattern of drinking and the volume of alcohol consumed. New Zealanders now spend an estimated $85 million a week on alcohol.
The direct costs to the taxpayer of alcohol-related harm in New Zealand have been estimated to be as high as $1,200 million per annum. Alcohol-related death rates are highest among the young, males, and Māori. In 2009, alcohol contributed to 295 or 12% of the 2,541 road crashes in Christchurch.
Read the full issue summary on alcohol [PDF] - updated March 2017.