Christchurch doctor's grim warning to synthetic drug users

You're "gambling with your life", that's the message to synthetic drug users from emergency room doctors in Christchurch.

What's thought to be an especially toxic batch of AMB Fubinaca has left them with a crisis on their hands. 

In the last 48 hours ten critically ill patients have been rushed through the hospital doors. 

Nine males and 1 female, aged 20 to 59, are all suffering the same effects from a bad batch of synthetic drugs.

Senior Emergency Department Doctor Dr Mark Gilbert suspects they've all smoked the same illegal chemical substance.

Their symptoms range from agitation, confusion, and seizures while the most severe cases include cardiac arrest.

"There seems to be a particularly nasty batch and one that's causing particularly severe effects," Dr Gilbert says.

"There's no doubt if you're smoking this stuff you are gambling with your life."

Toxicology results suggest the substance could be AMB Fubinaca, a deadly combination that has killed people in the North Island.

In total 45 users have died from synthetic drugs in the last 12 months

NZ Drug Foundation head Ross Bell says this isn't just a problem localised to Auckland or Wellington, but it involves communities across the country

"These are very potent drugs, they're very cheap, they seem to be supplanting natural cannabis," he says.

Doctors are warning people the drug is not worth risking their lives over. 


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