The New Zealand Drug Harms Study: Use of multi criteria decision analysis to consider social and individual harms from illegal drugs

April 18, 2024

Speaker: Paul Gordon (Catalyze)


This presentation will show how an MCDA decision modelling approach, coupled with a collaborative process was used to determine and understand the range and extent of harms that 23 drugs has across New Zealand. The drug harms were evaluated by a diverse group of experts and considered both the whole-of-population harms and harms specific to youth (12-17 years old) across 17 distinct harms. The harms considered covered both harms to the user, and harms to others around the user.

The background and history of the approach and methodology will be presented, including a summary of a similar earlier study in Australia, and will explore how this approach could provide valuable insights into how to think about drug harms in general.