But alcohol harm isn’t counted even where it might be the primary cause, because alcohol and tobacco are excluded from the Drug Harm Index.
It's an artefact of how it began. There was no way alcohol harm was going to be included under a National government.
Post the circa 1996 "all drug" National Drug Policy Framework process and its subsequent manifestation, the National Drug Policy, we had what could be fairly called Ottawa Charter 'integrated thinking' that looked at ALL drug harms crucially ignoring the legal status. This was innovative (and quite correct) policy thinking. What happened? The Alcohol lobby squealed, 'our drug is legal' and subsequently drove a nail in the integrated thinking... back to 'drug by illicit drug' - and that is where the wheels fell off.
It was the Police who commissioned the first Drug Harm Index. He who pays the piper.....regrettably Anderton went along with it, certainly until he met Jack Cole and Eddie Ellison (LEAP.CC) back in 2005. The day after that somewhat crucial meeting, [organised by and attended by myself and fellow MildGreen, Kevin O'Connell], Anderton released the foundation of "Class D" - notably, albeit on a slow media day on "Good Friday". In a moment of ironic if not historical audacity, Peter Dunne scotched the Labour Caucus's so concise and entirely workable five page (one was the index, the last was the "Restricted Substances Regulations 2008" on April Fools Day. Sometimes we tell better stories too!
(one was the index, the last was the
should read ‘the last was ; the explanatory note clarifying ’soft drugs’ as anything safer than alcohol and administration/oversight to be under the Ministry of Health – not Police.)
But I am sure you knew that.
Big thanks for your continuing erudite oversight.