Mayor shocked to find out synthetic drugs have reached Rotorua

  • 13/08/2017
Synthetic cannabis bears little resemblance to the real thing.
Synthetic cannabis bears little resemblance to the real thing. Photo credit: Getty

Rotorua's Mayor is pledging to wash her town clean of a potentially deadly strain of synthetic drugs.

Health authorities in the city have seen a dramatic rise in treatment for the drug's side-effects, with 15 users people nursed in the area over a 24-hour period.

Steve Chadwick says the town "doesn't need that high public risk".

"Nobody wants it - no families, no community wants the impact on community safety. I hope the police and forensically we can get to the bottom of what this is."

Ten deaths in Auckland have been linked to synthetic drugs over the past few weeks.

Ms Chadwick says the drug's rapid spread to the provinces is "deeply concerning".

"This is very worrying. We were very aware there were problems in other cities - we weren't aware that it was aware it was in Rotorua yet."

Local emergency services have said they don't have the equipment to text for the presence of synthetic drugs in the system, so can't always start with the most effective treatments.

"It's very clear at the moment there is a very high danger risk, and I just urge them to be very, very careful and don't touch them until we can sort out whether or not they're taking something extremely dangerous."