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Responding to the synthetics crisis

Over 40 people in New Zealand have died in the past year from synthetic substances. Hundreds more have experienced serious side effects, like psychosis and overdose.  We think it's time for urgent action, so we've prepared this tailored advice for communities and individuals.

The scale and impact of this crisis is too big to delay taking preventative action. There are things we can do straight away to better support those struggling with their use. Advice on local community responses is offered here, along with suggestions for how we bring about long-term change. It is also vital that resources are made available by the government.

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Synthetics are manufactured chemicals that largely fall within two categories. Synthetic cannabinoids are usually sprayed onto a smokable material, while synthetic cathinones are usually sold in pill or powder form. 

Overview of synthetics: Synthetic cannabinoids/Synthetic cathinones. Downoad PDF for accessible file

Some synthetics can be stronger or more toxic than others

People who are already facing significant challenges are most at risk

Give people the information they need

Get active in your community

Demand changes to our drug laws

What cannabinoids are known to be in New Zealand?

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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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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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