Socially Progressive New Zealand, a Nation of Middle-Class Substance Abusers

NZ's middle class has a problem

NZ’s middle-class has a problem

Isn’t it interesting to see how New Zealand rates on indexes that aren’t complied from official government data.

Read this Stuff article about substance abuse in New Zealand’s middle classes, it doesn’t fit well with New Zealand recently topping the Social Progress Index despite never being ranked in it before. It raises questions as to why the country’s more comfortable classes feel the need to self medicate to such an extent.


It’s how we’re drinking . . . and smoking and snorting

by Shane Cowlishaw

“An invisible swath of middle-class New Zealanders are drinking heavily and indulging in drugs, a new survey has found.

Fairfax Media’s involvement in the Global Drugs Survey on worldwide drug use has for the first time revealed how entrenched alcohol and drugs – both legal and illegal – are in our everyday lives…

The survey reveals interesting and shocking glimpses into the drug habits of the 5731 New Zealand respondents, who had a mean age of 34.7, about half of whom had an undergraduate degree, and 84 per cent of whom were employed…

Survey founder Adam Winstock – a British addiction specialist – said Kiwis appeared to use cannabis responsibly, but their attitudes towards alcohol were worrying.

A large proportion of survey respondents recorded heavy drinking behaviour, but almost half of them believed their drinking was average or less than average compared with others, he said.

Three-quarters of respondents had used illegal drugs during their lifetime, and almost half had used them in the past year, but legal highs were considered to be detrimental to users’ health.

Prescription painkillers were also popular, raising concerns about ease of access to opiates such as oxycodone…” read the full article here




2 thoughts on “Socially Progressive New Zealand, a Nation of Middle-Class Substance Abusers

  1. When I lived there, seemed like everyone in their 30s and 40s was doing it. Including things like meth. Because they could still drive and go to work, they considered they didn’t have any problems. You did not want to be around them when they couldn’t toke or drink or pop a pill though. It was if they couldn’t stand reality as it was. Given the “Outdoors Loving Pure” rep they perpetuate there, the drug-taking stood in stark hypocritical contrast.

    • Generally, “progressive” is interpreted as “viewing recreational drug usage with liberality” so there might not be a conflict there. When you have children, however, you do not necessarily want to raise them in Amsterdam.

Comments are closed.