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Over 45 New Zealanders have died since mid-2017 from synthetic cannabinoids. Hundreds more experienced serious side effects like psychosis and overdose. Synthetic cathinones are also being mis-sold as other drugs leading to serious side effects and hospitalisations.

There are things we can do immediately to support those struggling and other actions to address the root causes of these issues. Subscribe to updates, learn more about synthetics, and lead a response in your area. 

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Need to know how to help someone after they use synthetic cannabinoids?


This new flip card sets out what to do if an overdose occurs and how to avoid further harm.

Family, friends and community member can order this free flip card to give to anyone who is using synthetic cannabinoids and those around them.

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Synthetics Community Response Toolkit

By working with others in your community, you can make a difference for those most at risk. There are no quick fixes, but there are practical actions you can take. This December 2018 updated toolkit contains:

  • An overview of synthetics in New Zealand
  • A model for a community response to specific incidents
  • What to do if someone is unconscious or overdoses
  • Language to use when talking about synthetics.

DOWNLOAD: Synthetics Community Response Toolkit (PDF)


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More in this section:

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Responding in an emergency

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Talking to people using synthetics

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Community responses to incidents

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Sign up for updates

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Drug Index

We believe that access to accurate, clear information is essential to reduce drug-related harm. This index provides harm reduction advice for drugs that are common in New Zealand.

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Is it time to change your drug use?

Thinking about your drug use can help you decide whether it's time to make a change. DrugHelp can be useful if you or someone you care about is struggling with their substance drug use.

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