Articles, Blog

The Deadly Synthetic Drug Epidemic Killing New Zealanders

December 11, 2019

I’ve known about five friends that have died of it it’s affected a lot of lives. It’s not something that New Zealand has seen before. The synthetics is destroying West Auckland not just people, but the community, everything. This is the main area where we used to smoke. I used to see little kids running through here, spewing up just seizuring in the middle of the road on this roundabout here. I found a women actually blacked out over here she was knocked out, pale unresponsive, and I actually had to pick her up myself and carry her to my mums house. There’s another house I used to score from just down over here, just down on this left street. They used to sell the good shit. which made people want more. Synthetics is a real big problem to West Auckland. There’s a lot of houses out here that sell it. There’s a lot of people walking around that will come up to you “Bro, want to buy a bag?” You know stuff like that. West Aucklanders aren’t afraid to try anything. They will try anything or whatever just to get a hit. No, this is not for you, this is for me Don’t you bite! F***ing little s*** That’s why I don’t associate with these birds, they’re a**holes. I was thirteen when I started synthetics. Well first of all it came out on the shops and stuff and I thought it was just… it was yuck hey, it didn’t really do anything for me and Yeah I used to mock the s*** out them, like those c**** down in Henderson. Like “oh my god, just smoke the real s*** bro” like… “you’re so stupid that s*** is just going to f*** up your brain”. This s*** was actually way cheaper than weed and had much more of an effect. So that’s how I got into smoking it. I don’t know I was going through so much then, I just needed it to cope. I’ve… yeah I’ve been smoking it for pretty much six years straight. The government’s to blame, they’re the only people to blame. Why bring a drug out and have it legalised so widely in so many shops and put it around the whole entire country and then get all these people addicted to it, like actually f***ing addicted, and then just take it away and make it illegal? Of course it’s going to go underground and then people are going to start making s*** that is harmful and that’s what’s happened. I’d smoke probably an ounce of synthetics in two days. That’s every week. I was real bad. I’m surprised I’m still alive. It felt like a hand was trying to reach up my throat and out my mouth. I guess my body couldn’t handle the amount of chemicals I was getting and it was making me regurgitate sort of kind of spew but I wasn’t spewing. Kind of, it was a dry spew, kind of like someone was putting their hand out my mouth. I actually kind of seizured first, started frothing at the mouth and then I blacked out. And that’s when my mum came running in. I woke up in the hospital, not realising where I was or what I’d done. And my mum came up to me crying saying; You almost died son, you know, I found you basically half dead in the bath tub just lying there, pale, speechless, just real…. you know, not responsive. So I rushed you to the hospital, son. You’re lucky to be alive. That’s all she said to me. Middlemore ED receiving We have on board a 24 year old male, chief complaint being collapsed, seizures following some synthetic cannabis use. What brings people to the emergency department, what we’re seeing nowadays usually is seizures. The seizures are are common. People come in with a problem, they come in with chest pain, they come in with seizures et cetera. We don’t always know what that is, so we start working down the list of what can cause that. But now we’ve seen so many seizures from synthetic cannabinoids, that that’s one thing we always just consider. That’s the list where we thought about synthetic cannabinoids. These things have been around since 2007, 2008. This was started in a medical pharmaceutical laboratory for research. Now it’s kind of gone to underground labs
all over the world and there is no quality control. AMB Fubinaca, this is one that we’ve seen recently. It’s about 60-70 times more potent than natural cannabis. They take this chemical and they mix it in water to dissolve it and get grass or hay or whatever that’s dried, and lay it down on a table and they’ll spray this on there. Well what if the person whose spraying this gets distracted and maybe they spray this section for ten seconds longer than this section, and all of a sudden you have an incredibly potent pack of synthetics that are going to go out and cause really bad harm. She did actually start off as a very, very lovely child, and she’s still a lovely child underneath. She ended up getting into ice skating. She did very well at ice skating it was one thing that she was absolutely good at. She says it was her one place that she was always calm. It was a place that she felt safe. Once she lost that, there was a big change in her life. So then she took up with locals around Henderson. The wrong sorts. We could never do much about that. Unfortunately. My week has been… absolutely s***. I had these people… they’re supposed to be helping me intertwine into the community. And they seem to think that they can provide me
a counsellor, which I’ve already got. You’re like five years too late bro. Why are you just trying to do this now? What do you want? This better not be f***ing prison mail Speaking of the f***ing devil. Oh my god I hate it when people use animals to manipulate me. She’s put the little cat there and pictures of cats down there. Like how evil is that? F***ing. Hey Tammara, hope you are doing okay.
I haven’t seen you in a little while, giving you some space. I hope that you understand that it’s all done out of care for you and your best interests. It was a hard decision to make but we knew it
would enable you to have some time from drugs and then hopefully remain drug free. But why write me a f***ing letter? Are you that scared to come to my f***ing house?
You must have f***ed up, hey? So, I’m glad she admitted it there, that she’s the one that f***ing put me in a mental hospital. So, yeah, nah I’m glad she hasn’t come around, cause I’m going to smack her face in now. I had no other f***ing choice,
they put me in a f***ing mental hospital man. What was I supposed to do?
Just actually let them win and go crazy? You lying f***ing c*** See? They wonder why I don’t trust these f***ing services. Synthetics is easier to get than crack, man. You just got to know the right people. There was a period of time where synthetic cannabis was legal. It was then made illegal under the Psychoactive Substances Act. The importation or manufacturing of a Psychoactive Substance has a penalty of two years in prison. In terms of selling a Psychoactive Substance it’s a three month penalty or a forty thousand dollar fine. Police have worked with New Zealand Customs on an importation where there was just over a thousand grams of synthetic drugs imported into New Zealand. That has a potential street value of one million dollars. We utilise a wide range of techniques that we are trained to look out for and these ones stood out to me so… we will open them up and examine them and see what we’ve got. The x-ray image looked inconsistent, it’s sent as express mail out of Hong Kong We find predominantly China is one of the big providers of synthetic cannabinoids. And now what I would do is I would use one of my tools that can test substances, it’s got a library of over 11,000 different substances both illegal and not illegal and it can test it through the clear bag, so it’s all contained, and tell me what this is. And this has come back for ADB Fubinaca which is a synthetic cannabinoid. It’s a free leash park my babes. We’re not breaking any laws. Since the last time I seen you I found a man. It’s good that there’s another dog around or two other dogs cause he stays with them. If they listen he’ll just follow them. From the moment I saw Tammara I kind of, you know, I had this feeling that she was the one that I could settle down with. The first night I met her and when I left her house I said to my brothers partner, I said to her I think I just found my Bonnie, you know like Bonnie, Clyde, back in the 1920s, 30s whatever. It is moving quickly, but I like it you know, I love it. Where we are at the moment is good. I wouldn’t change nothing. I wouldn’t change nothing. Maybe the only thing would be just to keep her off synthetics that’s probably about it. I worry about her relapsing. It’s when I’m not there, or you know there’s no one there to help her when she does have those… those moments, or those urges to want to go back there. Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t even like him to see me on synthetics. Everytime I’m like a synnie cone would be so good right now, he’s like no, no, f*** that babe, no. You know once it’s on the street, it’s hard to get off, you know? There’s millions of synthetics out there now while I’m talking and there’s no way to get it off the streets. It’s just like the sickness going around. I met Devonte when I was 16 played rugby together, went to school together. Found out a little bit about him and his mum told me about him, told me his struggle you know he wanted to get away from all the stuff down there. So he came up to Auckland to an even worse place, you know? Full of drugs, bad people. He was a real good fella, you know he was bubbly and humble. He just loved doing good. I made this little set up for him because he would have wanted it. This is actually his little… board thing. You know, he made this little signature Which I don’t want to forget so I decided to put it with his little memorial. But, this one is the specialist Cause, when he was little he got baptised and his mum kept this for him since he was little and sort of gave it to me. She gave me the responsibility to basically look after it, keep it special, close to me. Yeah. He was actually at my house the night before he passed away. Him and my mum had an argument cause… he was smoking that s*** in my washhouse and my mum didn’t like it so she told him to go home. I told him, alright bro I’ll see you tomorrow and he goes I’ll be over tomorrow and I go okay. Woke up waiting for him and I was realising, why is he taking so long? And my mum comes up in tears and I… I kind of knew what happened, I kinda knew. Then when she told me I just, I felt it. Really did. It was hard. Sorry, I’ll be back. There is a physiological addiction to these synthetic
cannabanoids as well as a psychological addiction. This time I’ve relapsed. It’s so sad that I can’t say that anymore. Like “Oh yeah, I’ve been clean like eight week now”. That’s so s***. I reckon that the s*** that they’ve got out now compared to a couple months ago or whatever when I was smoking it and it has gotten stronger. Definitely. I reckon I’m more addicted too, all I could think about was just… having another cone, having another cone. Waiting for him to go to sleep so I could have a cone. Nah yeah, that was… that was a really big f*** up what I did. Relapsing. Wish I did things a little bit differently and was a little bit stronger, earlier. And yeah, but nah, I wouldn’t say that I regret anything that makes me the person that I am today. Yeah. Then I wouldn’t be this f***ing ray of sunshine.

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