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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Loc: Flag
Teen near death from party pills [NZ]
    #4208414 - 05/23/05 12:25 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Teen near death from party pills
May 23, 2005 - stuff.co.nz

Doctors are outraged at the cut-price sale of legal highs after an 18-year-old woman nearly died swallowing 10 "party pills" on Saturday night.

The woman, who remained in Christchurch hospital last night, swallowed pills containing benzylpiperazine (BZP), a legal and supposedly safe drug that mimics the effects of "speed".

After taking the pills - it is not known where she bought them - the woman had seizures and breathing problems which saw her admitted to intensive care.

Christchurch Hospital emergency medicine specialist Dr Paul Gee said: "She could easily have died if she hadn't had ambulance assistance as soon as she did."

Some local party-pill operators are advertising their products at half price. Pills can start at $15 for a packet of two tablets.

The woman was the third young person admitted via the emergency department in the past month with party-pill related seizures, Gee said. The department regularly saw three or four teenagers a week with side-effects of anxiety, panic attacks, racing heart rate, hallucinations, headache and vomiting.

Emergency staff were particularly concerned about the recent spate of seizures. Shops that sold the pills seemed to be discounting them ahead of possible regulation, which encouraged more people to try them and also to take more than the usual dose of two, Gee said.

A central city Herbal Heaven staff member did not want to comment on operators selling discounted party pills yesterday.

She said customers were advised to take one or two pills at a time and sale was restricted to those over 18.

When told about the woman having seizures after taking 10 pills, she said: "Some people ruin it for everyone else by not managing themselves well."

Gee said that, even by taking two pills, people could not be certain of the amount of active ingredient ingested. Some pills sold locally contained no BZP and some contained several hundred milligrams.

Christchurch hospital intensive care specialist Dr Alastair Gibson said the woman was unconscious and had "grossly abnormal" biochemistry when admitted to the unit. The woman was stabilised and transferred to a ward yesterday. She was expected to make a full recovery.

Gibson said people needed more education about drugs in general. "Just because it's got herbal in the name doesn't mean it's safe."

Gee said the active ingredient in party pills was actually a manufactured pharmaceutical.

"It's basically a worming tablet created to kill parasites in animals. It's definitely not herbal," he said.

The health select committee is due to report back this week about a proposal by Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton to add a new classification for a D controlled drug which would include party pills.

Anderton said a controlled drug classification would allow sales of BZP to be regulated, which was a more sensible option than banning it.

He said the drug's legality was also being questioned. BZP was being sold as a dietary supplement but the Food Safety Authority's medico-legal opinion was that it was not one.

"People shouldn't take it for granted that it's always going to be available. There's a very big question mark over it," he said.

Meanwhile, the National Poisons Centre is seeking ethical approval for a national study on people affected by party pills. Medical toxicologist Dr John Fountain said he was concerned about the number of calls the centre received both from the public and from health professionals.

"We're just beginning to see the adverse effects. People are starting to use these drugs in increasing quantities so we'll have more and more of these problems," he said.

Fountain said the pills should not be sold in New Zealand without prescription. Pharmaceutical company the Wellcome Foundation had trialled BZP for use as an anti-depressant, but the clinical studies were discontinued as the drugs were considered too toxic and addictive.

Social Tonics Association of New Zealand spokesman Matt Bowden was shocked to hear of somebody taking 10 pills. He said people should follow the instructions on the package.

Bowden said the recent "cluster of adverse events" was a reflection of the way some retailers were behaving in Christchurch.

"The right idea for people involved in marketing the product is to pursue social responsibility. Selling things half price and giving them away is not social responsibility," he said.


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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Loc: Flag
Re: Teen near death from party pills [NZ] [Re: veggie]
    #4208439 - 05/23/05 12:32 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Committee recommends regulation for party pills
May 23, 2005 - stuff.co.nz

A Parliamentary committee has recommended that legal party pills be restricted rather than outlawed.

The Health Select Committee today reported back the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill (No 3) which amends drug-related legislation.

The committee agreed that low-risk substances used to get high such as benzylpiperazine (BZP) - a main ingredient of some party pills which contains properties resembling amphetamines and ecstasy - should be restricted.

Committee chairwoman Steve Chadwick said there was a general consensus that the substances should be regulated and was in line with the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs' opinion.

"As we still have reservations about the safety of BZP we think that restrictions and guidelines need to be in place. We expect the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs will continue to monitor research on the level of harm associated with BZP and assess the risk it poses," Ms Chadwick said in a statement.

The committee recommended substances be listed in a new schedule which could be amended. Restricted substances could be subject to restrictions and requirements relating to advertising, distribution, manufacturing, sale and supply.

The committee also recommended sales be restricted to people aged over 18.

The bill also amends the quantity of methamphetamine that qualifies as being for supply, creates new offences of importing and exporting precursor substances, and creates powers of search and seizure without warrant for precursor substances.

It also proposes shifting the onus of proof for possessing a needle or syringe to the prosecution rather than defendant.

"We consider the reversal of the onus of proof for the possession of needles and syringes will encourage more injecting drug users to use the Needle and Syringe Exchange Programme and we welcome this change," Ms Chadwick said.

New Zealand Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell welcomed the committee's recommendations.

Mr Bell said reports of a Christchurch teenager 'overdosing' on party pills on Saturday night showed a clear need for consumer protection and industry regulation.

The 18-year-old woman nearly died swallowing 10 "party pills" containing BZP. She suffered seizures and breathing problems and was taken to Christchurch Hospital where she remained last night.

The hospital's emergency medicine specialist Dr Paul Gee said the woman "could easily have died if she hadn't had ambulance assistance as soon as she did".

The woman was the third young person admitted via the emergency department in the past month with party-pill related seizures, Dr Gee said.

The department saw three or four teenagers a week with side-effects of anxiety, panic attacks, racing heart-rate, hallucinations, headaches and vomiting.

Mr Bell said the regulations could require suppliers to tell a person taking 10 pills at once would sicken them.

"The amendments provide the framework for party pills to be regulated but not banned outright, a flexible mechanism for harm-minimisation that hasn't existed before," Mr Bell said.

"Had the regulations been in effect earlier, we might not have seen shops selling bulk amounts of party pills at cut-price rates, while the consumer would've been well aware of the risks of taking such an amount all at once."

Mr Bell said at present there was no requirement for people selling party pills to warn people that taking large quantities would make them sick.

"While we can't regulate against personal stupidity, we can regulate against unsafe marketing practice and ensure the consumer is given sufficient information about the risks and effects of party pills."

* Related Story: BZP Claim Nonsense


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OfflineSeussA
Error: divide byzero

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 04/27/01
Posts: 23,480
Loc: Caribbean
Last seen: 7 months, 9 days
Re: Teen near death from party pills [NZ] [Re: veggie]
    #4209196 - 05/23/05 07:49 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Would somebody take ten extra-stength tylanol tablets when they have a headache?  Probably not... two or three, perhaps... but obviously it is the drug's fault when somebody takes ten times the recommended dosage and gets sick from it... we should outlaw stupid people and leave the drugs alone.

:whatever:


--------------------
Just another spore in the wind.


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InvisibleSuperD
Cacti junky
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Registered: 10/05/03
Posts: 6,648
Loc: The bridgesii bridge
Re: Teen near death from party pills [NZ] [Re: Seuss]
    #4209569 - 05/23/05 12:18 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

<<we should outlaw stupid people and leave the drugs alone.>>

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:


--------------------
:super:D
Manoa said:
I need to stop spending all my money on plants and take up a cheaper hobby, like heroin. :lol:

Looking for Rauhocereus riosaniensis seeds or live specimen(s), :pm: me if you have any for trade


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OfflinemotamanM
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Re: Teen near death from party pills [NZ] [Re: veggie]
    #4210094 - 05/23/05 03:05 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Gibson said people needed more education about drugs in general.






I think he needs more education about party pills, which usualy contain BZP and TFMPP, and not just BZP.


--------------------
http://heffter.org


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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Loc: Flag
Re: Teen near death from party pills [NZ] [Re: veggie]
    #4220848 - 05/26/05 01:19 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Sales will continue as usual
May 25, 2005 - stuff.co.nz

Palmerston North's pioneering retailer of party pills says proposed changes in legislation will not affect the way he does business.

Concerns over legal herbal highs containing benzylpiperazine (BZP) have led a Parliamentary committee to recommend restrictions on their trade, including advertising, distribution and sale.

Among the committee's proposals are an age limit of 18 for purchasers and limits on the quantity able to be bought.

However, Lotz of Potz owner Peter Simpson says he already operates a voluntary 18-plus rule, including asking for identification from customers, and reminds buyers of pills from his shop that they should not be taken with alcohol or while pregnant.

The majority of Lotz of Potz' customers are in the 25 to 45 age group, employee Nicola Mitchell says.

"A lot of (customers) are professionals. They want to go out at the end of the week, but they haven't got any energy."

Limiting the quantity of pills that can be bought at any one time won't stop people overdoing it, she says.

"It's like anything. You get your idiots out there. If we (limit the quantity) people will just get more from their friends."

The shop stocks pills in batches of up to 40, and Mr Simpson says some customers buy enough to share around an entire party.

However, he questions the gain to be had from taking multiple pills.

"It's the same if you take two or four. There's no more buzz."

Prices for bottles of pills range from $15 to $90 dollars, depending on the strength of the pill and the number in the bottle.

As well as pills to dance the night away, there are pills to make the come-down more gentle and even one said to help P smokers kick the habit.

However, he questions the wisdom of one pill on the market, which he says contains 100mg of BZP in a single dose.

Mr Simpson doesn't stock Turbo Charged, the drug blamed by the Levin coroner this week for the March 7 death of 29-year-old Hawera man Aaron Mark Werder. He says he doesn't even consider it to be a party pill.


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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Loc: Flag
Re: Teen near death from party pills [NZ] [Re: veggie]
    #4220864 - 05/26/05 01:25 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Ephedrine, not BZP, the culprit in drug death
May 25, 2005 - scoop.co.nz

Illegal ephedrine the culprit in drug death

The illegal drug ephedrine was the culprit in the tragic death of a young man in Hawera, not conventional BZP-based party pills, as is being reported.

The Social Tonics Association of New Zealand today said ephedrine has been banned for use in New Zealand since 1998, and has been implicated in a number of deaths around the world.

Members of the Social Tonics Association do not use any illegal ingredients at any time.

STANZ Spokesperson Matt Bowden said the death of the young man was an absolute tragedy and he hoped Parliament would quickly pass a bill making it even harder to import the illegal drug ephedrine.

"It is very important that we are completely clear about what has happened in this tragic case, and that we do what all can to prevent this from happening again," he said.

The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill, which places an R18 restriction on BZP, is currently before Parliament. The Bill, which is strongly supported by STANZ, also imposes harsher penalties for importing the illegal drug ephedrine.

Ephedrine has previously been used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, and as a supplement by body builders.

Over eight million BZP-based products have been sold in New Zealand over the last five years, with no deaths and very few hospital admissions. There is no data suggesting death from BZP anywhere in the world.


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