Drawing on data from the New Zealand Drug Trends Survey (NZDTS), related to methamphetamine supply in New Zealand, this chapter shows how web surveys can be used to provide timely data on evolving local and national issues in the drugs field. Specifically, the chapter presents selected findings from the NZDTS (2017–2018) on methamphetamine availability and prices, and on respondents’ perceptions of the involvement of ‘gangs’ in methamphetamine supply in different regions in New Zealand. These findings can help inform future policy and agency responses to mitigate the health and social harms of methamphetamine markets.
This publication is published as part of a collection of papers on web surveys: Monitoring drug use in the digital age: studies in web surveys.
Differences in drug market conditions, for which data are often limited, can have important implications for the health and social harms of drug use and the related responses by relevant agencies in this field. A key component of monitoring illicit drug markets is developing an understanding of the availability and prices of illicit drugs, which can vary significantly over short periods of time and across small areas. This chapter shows how the New Zealand Drug Trends Survey (NZDTS) was used to provide timely data on methamphetamine availability and prices in New Zealand. The survey results provide important data and insights into the methamphetamine market, such as many rural regions reporting greater methamphetamine availability than the urban regions with the largest cities. Further, this chapter also reports on respondents’ perceptions of the involvement of ‘gangs’ in methamphetamine supply, with respondents from rural regions with high methamphetamine availability and low prices more likely to report buying methamphetamine from a person they identified as a ‘gang member or gang associate’. These findings from the NZDTS can help to inform future investment in health services and direct the focus of relevant public agencies to address both current and emerging areas of concern.