Dear media: In the stampede to get the story out first, please check your facts.
Today, the Chief Coroner and Police issued a statement labelling “synthetic cannabis” as the culprit behind seven deaths this past month, at the same time releasing harmful video footage of vulnerable people suffering the effects.
Speculation is rife in the media. Stuff.co.nz quotes Police Detective Inspector Gary Lendrum as saying there has been a recent spike in synthetic cannabis use, and “further people are going to die” if something isn’t done about it.
Trouble is, nobody actually knows what happened yet.
According to a St John’s spokesman, they don’t know for sure what drugs people were taking – “it’s just been labelled synthetic cannabis”.
There has been some speculation among health officials that the synthetic opiod fentanyl may have been involved.
Here’s one fact: Synthetic cannabis is only one subset within a larger group of over 600 different new psychoactive substances.
Our informative video above explains what psychoactive substances are and why they are potentially very harmful. Our website also has more specific information about synthetic cannabis and cathinones (bath salts), plus a section on staying safer.
It’s also worth checking out Russell Brown’s concerned but still more measured approach in his Hard News blog.
04 July 2022
Drug Foundation executive director Sarah Helm discusses recent fentanyl overdoses in Wairarapa and how we can avoid fentanyl deaths in futur...
19 May 2022
Drug Foundation welcomes health focus in 2022 budget, but would like to see a shift away from treating drugs as a criminal issue.
12 May 2022
The NZ Drug Foundation says Budget 2022 is a chance for the Government to fund effective health-based approaches to drugs, instead of contin...
22 July 2021
High Alert reports a large increase in the availability of ketamine nationwide. Ruth Nichol takes a look at the drug known as Special K, K a...
Back to top