Wave of drug deaths hits NZ

Sunday Tasmanian - - NEWS -

DOZENS of deaths and al­most 1200 am­bu­lance call-outs in a year have left New Zealand’s govern­ment fac­ing what some say is an un­prece­dented syn­thetic cannabis prob­lem.

“We would de­scribe it as a pub­lic health emer­gency,” said New Zealand Drug Foun­da­tion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Ross Bell. “New Zealand has never ex­pe­ri­enced this be­fore and, in fact, no other coun­try is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing deaths at this level (from syn­thetic cannabis).”

A coro­ner’s re­port in June linked the drugs to as many as 45 deaths in a year, com­pared with two deaths in the pre­vi­ous five years.

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