Kids ‘tricked’ into ‘zom­bie’ drug


A west Auck­land mother found her 11-year-old son in a park, un­con­scious, af­ter he used syn­thetic drugs.

Chil­dren are be­ing given the drugs and told what they’re smok­ing is a joint, a so­cial worker says.

In one case, older teenagers sup­plied an 11-year-old with the drugs. He then passed out and was found by his mum in a nearby park, said Keith Filo, a so­cial worker with Fam­ily Works Waita¯ kere.

Filo men­tioned the in­ci­dent dur­ing a public meet­ing on syn­thetic drugs at the Glen Eden Com­mu­nity House on Oc­to­ber 4.

Filo worked with a school in Ranui and said he saw kids who had ‘‘been in that zom­bie-like state’’.

‘‘It’s the older teenage youth who are giv­ing it to the 11 and 12-year-olds, and they are say­ing ‘hey, this is a joint’. So one of the kids that I work with thought it was a joint, and he just smoked it. And then he got to­tally knocked out and his mum found him at Star­ling Park.’’

Sergeant Michael Wick­man told the public meet­ing that test­ing had not found fly­spray, ace­tone or rat poi­son on prob­lem syn­thet­ics. In­stead, it was the ‘‘very dan­ger­ous chem­i­cal’’ AMBFUBINACA. Al­though it was il­le­gal to pos­sess syn­thetic drugs, and courts could im­pose a $500 fine, po­lice were not go­ing af­ter users, he said.

There was a max­i­mum penalty of two years’ im­pris­on­ment for sup­pli­ers, and 123 peo­ple had been charged in the three months up to two weeks ago, he said.

The public meet­ing was called by the Glen Eden Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion and Glen Eden Com­mu­nity Pa­trol to ex­plore what could be done to al­le­vi­ate a prob­lem with syn­thet­ics in the area.

So­cial ser­vice providers, po­lice and lo­cal res­i­dents were among the 40 or so peo­ple who turned up to share in­for­ma­tion.

Or­gan­iser Penny Hinchel­wood said ed­u­ca­tion was part of the so­lu­tion as the gen­eral public didn’t know much about syn­thetic drugs. She planned to help or­gan­ise sim­i­lar meet­ings in nearby sub­urbs. ‘‘There are peo­ple in our com­mu­nity who do care. And they work very hard be­hind the scenes so that we can have a bet­ter fu­ture.’’

Con­tact the Al­co­hol and Drug Helpline for help with syn­thetic drugs on its web­site or by call­ing 0800 787 797. Peo­ple con­cerned about some­one who has taken syn­thetic drugs should dial 111 and ask for an am­bu­lance.


Users of il­le­gal drugs of­ten do not know the po­tency of what they smoke, po­lice say (stock photo).

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