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InvisibleveggieM

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BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU]
    #6387728 - 12/19/06 09:04 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

Govt advised to outlaw party pills
December 20, 2006 - stuff.co.nz

The Government has been advised to outlaw the sale of "party pills" by an expert committee which has been studying their dangers.

The pills can be legally purchased by those over 18, but critics say their main active ingredient benzylpiperazine (BZP) is dangerous and pill doses are often far higher than recommended, leading to significant potential harm.

A Cabinet committee is looking at whether BZP and related substances commonly found in party pills should be banned or further restricted.

Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton today said he was still considering the official advice from the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD), but had taken the step of releasing it so people were aware of the pills' dangers.

Mr Anderton, the Minister in charge of drug policy, said considering the advice was the first step he was required to make in taking any statutory decision.

He said one trial had shown frequent and severe side effects - including seizures - from the drug's use, suggesting the potential for serious harm for some users, even at relatively low doses.

"While there have been on recorded deaths attributed solely to the use of BZP, we know that severe adverse effects from the use of `party pills' occur unpredictably.

"The expert committee was concerned that the seizures which have been recorded have the potential to kill."

The committee had recommended sale and possession of BZP be outlawed. The drug should be given a similar classification to cannabis.

But Mr Anderton said there were several legal steps he had to take before he could make a final decision on whether to recommend a ban on BZP.

They included seeking further information and advice, consulting fully with other government agencies and seeking public and industry views.

He aimed to conclude consultation by March 2007.

The National Party and New Zealand First have accused the Government of dragging its feet on the issue.


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InvisibleveggieM

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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: veggie]
    #6388409 - 12/19/06 11:52 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

Party pill manufacturers slam report recommending ban
December 20, 2006 - stuff.co.nz



Party pill manufacturers say lives could be lost if they were banned and users turned instead to illegal drugs.

They were reacting to an announcement today that the Government has been advised to outlaw the sale of the pills by an expert committee which has been studying their dangers.

Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton said today he was still considering official advice from the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD), but had taken the step of releasing its report so people were aware of the pills' dangers.

Pills can now be bought legally by people over 18, but critics believe their main active ingredient benzylpiperazine (BZP) is dangerous and pill doses are often far higher than recommended, leading to significant potential harm.

Benzylpiperazine is banned in many countries.

A cabinet committee is looking at whether BZP and related substances commonly found in party pills should be banned or further restricted.

Releasing the EACD report today at his electorate office in Christchurch, which he described as the "party pill capital of the world," Mr Anderton said as minister in charge of drug policy considering the committee's advice was the first step he was required to make in any statutory decision.

One of the research trials, with 35 participants, had to be cancelled because of frequent and severe side effects from BZP. Researchers felt they lacked the "ethical right" to continue, he said.

Research had shown the potential for serious harm to some users, even at relatively low and manufacturers' recommended doses.

"While there have been no recorded deaths attributed solely to the use of BZP, we know that severe adverse effects from the use of `party pills' occur unpredictably.

"The expert committee was concerned that the seizures which have been recorded have the potential to kill."

Mr Anderton said the committee had recommended the sale and possession of BZP be outlawed and the drug should be given a similar "C" classification to cannabis.

But he said there were several legal steps he had to take before he could make a final decision on whether to recommend a ban on BZP.

They included seeking further information and advice, consulting fully with other government agencies and seeking public and industry views.

Mr Anderton said he hoped to complete consultation by the end of March.

Pill manufacturers said today they were disappointed at the research report findings.

The Social Tonics Association of New Zealand (STANZ) said any move to ban party pills risked leading "tens of thousands of New Zealanders" to dangerous illegal drugs.

"The report misses the point," STANZ chairman Matt Bowden said. "Party pills in New Zealand are achieving their purpose in providing safer, legal alternatives to illegal drugs."

Mr Bowden said about 10 million party pills had been sold over the last six years.

"Independent research just this year has shown that party pills are working as a `gateway' off illegal drugs, and I firmly believe they are helping to save lives," he said.

While Mr Bowden conceded there had been "some headaches", he said there had not been a "single case" of any users suffering lasting negative effects.

He said "evidence is clear" that party pills were keeping people away from pure methamphetamine, or P.

"If we ban party pills, we have to be prepared to see people go back to methamphetamine, with all the death and destruction that goes with it."

However, the researchers who studied the pills' safety today applauded advice and recommendations of the EACD.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand (MRINZ) director Professor Richard Beasley said the scientific approach by the committee and the Government in identifying the need for and funding the research was to be commended.

"The MRINZ study showed a high rate of serious adverse effects with party pills when taken alone or together with alcohol," Prof Beasley said.

"The frequency, nature and severity of the adverse effects were of sufficient concern to cause the investigators to stop the study after only half the subjects had been studied," he said.

Adverse effects included anxiety, migraines, vomiting, hallucinations, confusion and insomnia.

Prof Beasley said there was now "considerable international interest" in the approach taken in New Zealand to fund research to enable an informed decision on regulating the use of party pills.

"It has provided a model for use internationally with the assessment of other recreational drugs," he said.

Contrary to studies carried out by MRINZ, Auckland University researchers said interviews with 58 young people suggested there were few serious side-effects apart from hangover-type symptoms.

The research, commissioned by the Ministry of Health, involved interviewing people aged 16 to 24 who had used pills and worked in a range of environments.

The study's lead investigator, associate professor Janie Sheridan, said no one had reported seeking medical treatment after party pill use and none reported "serious harmful adverse effects".

However, there were some negative effects noted by users including raised heart rate, upset stomach, inability to sleep and a sore or dry mouth.

There was also an associated "unpleasant period" as the effects of the pills wore off where people felt depressed, tired, unable to sleep, tense or edgy and withdrawn.

Prof Sheridan said while no serious short-term problems linked with party pills were found, the long-term effects were still largely unknown.

Meanwhile, National MP Jacqui Dean said today's announcement was a "cop out".

Mrs Dean said she didn't accept Mr Anderton saying there were a number of legal steps to follow before a final decision could be made.

"He has lost the opportunity to do something really important here and announce a ban on party pills ingredients," Mrs Dean said.

"Instead he has taken the easy way out and in doing so could be risking the lives of many young New Zealanders."

The Drug Foundation praised Mr Anderton's "admirable consistency" on the issue and said he had resisted pressure from all sides to make a hasty decision.

"This is not a black or white issue - drug issues never are," said the foundation's executive director Ross Bell.

"We should persist with tighter and improved regulations over party pills because they allow the Government greater control over availability, potency, quality and price of pills than an outright ban could."

United Future's health spokeswoman, Judy Turner, said party pills were a menace because they were unregulated.

"You don't know whether you're taking grass clippings, talcum powder or a high," she said.

"If we can't ban party pills, we need to regulate the danger out of them."


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Offlinefaslimy
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: veggie]
    #6388457 - 12/20/06 12:08 AM (14 years, 4 months ago)

unbelievable


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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 14,360
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: veggie]
    #6390001 - 12/20/06 02:07 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

Warning over pill ban
December 21, 2006 - stuff.co.nz

Outlawing party pills will see users turn to more dangerous drugs, including methamphetamine, or force the trade in herbal highs underground, say opponents of a ban.

Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton yesterday announced a three-month consultation period on a proposed ban of benzylpiperazine (BZP), the active ingredient in party pills, also known as herbal highs.

He made the announcement in Christchurch because it was "the BZP capital of the world".

The proposed ban followed expert advice that BZP posed a moderate risk to users but had the potential to trigger life-threatening seizures.

Anderton said any ban would have to be approved by Parliament and would take at least six months.

Until then, users should be aware the drugs "had the potential to kill".

In Christchurch last night, party-pill user Jeremy McCleery said he would continue to take the herbal highs if they were made illegal.

"It will just go underground. I think (the recommended ban) is utter crap, I really do," he said. "They have got nothing to base it on, just that some people have been irresponsible and ended up in hospital," he said.

Many people would turn to harder drugs such as heroine or morphine to get high.

"They use herbals because the comedown isn't as bad, it's cheaper, easier to get and it's legal," he said.

Another party-pill user, Aaron Webb, said people who took BZP to stay awake for work – including himself – would probably turn to harder drugs such as speed and ecstasy to keep alert.

"Over a three-day period I can pull 55 hours and I need it to survive," he said.

"People doing nightshift, like caregivers, take BZP just to get through the first two nights of nightshift because they are too tired. If they are banned, I think it's going to be a free-for-all, and harder drugs will come out in stronger force and BZPs will go underground."

Party-pill designer Matt Bowden said he had created BZP after the death of a relative on ecstasy and that of a friend high on pure methamphetamine, or P, who impaled himself on a sword.

Bowden said his efforts to produce a safe recreational high had worked. "But if you take party pills away, you could cause people to go back to methamphetamine."

National Addiction Centre senior lecturer and clinical psychologist Simon Adamson said the outlawing of certain hallucinogenic "magic mushrooms" in Britain last year left hundreds of legal herbal-high shops and thousands of users searching for alternatives.

In September, the New Scientist magazine reported that "dozens of powerful but entirely legal psychoactive substances" had emerged, including BZP, an hallucinogenic called salvia and the opiate kratom.

"And this is just the beginning," it said. "Hundreds of synthetic drugs" were on their way, as well as traditional herbs being offered to Westerners for the first time.

Adamson said a similar phenomenon was likely in New Zealand.

"There are quite a number of legal high shops around the country and I would predict they are not going to shut down," he said. "They are going to look around for alternative things to sell that are legal."

Some users were also likely to switch to illegal and riskier drugs, said Adamson, who also works at Christchurch's Community Alcohol and Drug Service.

He said BZP was a relatively safe drug. and generally non-addictive. "So unless they are finding some strong evidence that people are experiencing life-threatening consequences at a significant rate, then just having side-effects which are unpleasant is not a reason to ban something," he said.


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OfflineEmong
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: veggie]
    #6390182 - 12/20/06 02:57 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

I live in New Zealand and personally I believe this crap should be illegal. The main argument for keeping it legal being that it keeps people off "more dangerous" illicit drugs is a load of bollocks. No meth head is going to take something which gives and inferior buzz followed by hours of agony. It's neither safer nor does it have a better comedown than MDMA.

I know alot of people in the local drug community and very few of them take BZP because, well, it's shit. All it's doing is putting a drug with terrible side effects into the hands of people (read: idiots) who otherwise wouldn't have access to drugs thus might not be up to play on responsible drug use.

It's concerning that Kratom has been mentioned, I'd better buy a bunch of it before it's scheduled  :smirk:


--------------------


Edited by Emong (12/20/06 02:59 PM)


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OfflineSheepish
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: Emong]
    #6390512 - 12/20/06 04:18 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

Firstly, BZP is already illegal is AU (Australia). Please, New Zealand is a different country from Australia!

So, because YOU think it's crap it should illegal? What a load of shit mate. I don't even like it either because there's far better drugs.
The problem is if they ban BZP, you can kiss any sensible policy goodbye. Alcohol itself causes FAR more problems, but no one is proposing a ban on them. So why only BZP?
The thing is, any ADULT has the right to decide what to ingest and how to alter their own mind. Banning BZP will send out the message that we don't give a shit about other people's rights and that we're not intelligent enough to make our own choices. What next, Salvia? And from there, you've got a slippery slope trying to convince the NZ government to consider decriminalising marijuana, because some uppity idiots are going to scream for a ban or outright oppose from the start.

This is NOT progress! We're just taking big steps backwards because old farts can't handle people altering their own minds. By all means, let people know what the risks of taking BZP are, but leave it up to them to decide if they want to take it. Then MAYBE one day we'll be able to leave others alone for altering their minds (with ANY drug) in peace. Fuck the Nanny State.


Edited by Sheepish (12/20/06 04:19 PM)


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OfflineEmong
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: Sheepish]
    #6390950 - 12/20/06 05:56 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

I still think it should be illegal. As it stands it's being advertised as a "safer" alternative to illicit drugs which couldn't be further from the truth. What will Joe-Knows-Nothing think illicit substances must do to you if the safe, legal alternative makes you sick and depressed? At least if it's scheduled it'll allow things to be put into perspective.


--------------------


Edited by Emong (12/20/06 05:57 PM)


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OfflineSheepish
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: Emong]
    #6391027 - 12/20/06 06:15 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

So change advertising. In fact, get rid of advertising in the same manner as tobacco advertising. I don't care if it really IS a safer alternative or not - it's up to the consumer to decide. Feeling a bit sick is NOT good grounds for banning a substance. Alcohol can make you feel sick, throw up, black out etc - do you support a ban for alcohol? Oh yeah, and alcohol is a DEPRESSANT. If it's scheduled, all it'll do is make more people into criminals and send yet more nonviolent offenders into our already overcroweded prisons.
How about instead of using the LAW and wasting more police resources to "put things into perspective", people use their fucking noggins and come to their own conclusions.


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OfflineEmong
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: Sheepish]
    #6391066 - 12/20/06 06:25 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Sheepish said:
do you support a ban for alcohol?




As a matter of fact, yes. I'd feel much safer if alcohol was gone.


--------------------


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InvisibleSuperD
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: Emong]
    #6391788 - 12/20/06 09:48 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Emong said:
Quote:

Sheepish said:
do you support a ban for alcohol?




As a matter of fact, yes. I'd feel much safer if alcohol was gone.




Well, unfortunately, that's not how the world works. When a substance is banned, it merely goes underground to be controlled by unregulated markets where all sorts of evil things can happen. Banning a substance will never eliminate the demand for it. Ever. This is not my opinion, this is fact.


--------------------
: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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OfflineWronguy
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: SuperD]
    #6402834 - 12/27/06 07:09 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411425/945203

New party pill trend worries experts

New Zealand's legal drug culture is taking a new potentially lethal twist. Experts say over the past year people have begun injecting party pills.

Party pills have become one of the most popular recreational drugs in New Zealand with retailers claiming to have sold 26 million.

Injecting drugs is an image normally associated with hardened drug culture, but for some popping a party pill doesn't get you high enough.

"They've developed such a tolerance for both the drugs and its effects, they they need more of the drug to get the same effect," says addiction expert Dr Lee Nixon.

Experts say injecting BZP - the active ingredient in herbal highs - makes it travel to the heart faster.

While there have been no deaths attributed to BZP, those on the frontline say injecting it carries massive risks.

"The heart for instance has no cushioning against the sudden risk of stimulation and there are some risks for a very small proportion of people it will get thrown out to the point it will stop beating, " says Nixon.

Dirty and shared syringes used to be a risk only associated with illegal drugs. But the injecting of party pills also increases the risk of deadly viruses like hepatitis and HIV spreading.

But party pill manufacturers say the experts claims are just medical propaganda designed to back up a government push to ban the pills.

"Injecting is a health risk and people are advised not to inject anything. But right now the real issue is we would like them regulated," says Party Pill Manufacturer Matt Bowden.

With the increased health risks from injecting any serious harm caused would certainly add urgency to government plans to make party pills a class C illegal drug within six months.

A study made public last week showed the potential risk from the pills

"The weight of evidence from across this body of research is that BZP presents more than just a low risk," Dr Ashley Bloomfield of the Expert

Advisory Committee on Drugs said last week.

One study group ended prematurely, fearing what might have happened if they continued.

BZP is banned in Australia and the US.


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OfflineSheepish
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: Wronguy]
    #6419630 - 01/02/07 09:22 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

I read this today; the whole thing is a load of bullshit. Nothing scares people into banning something than claiming people are now injecting it.
If it does happen, it's not exactly widespread practice. Then again, it's not the pill manufacturers fault if people actually are going to inject it.


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Invisiblefastfred
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: Sheepish]
    #6420647 - 01/03/07 05:15 AM (14 years, 4 months ago)

> Adverse effects included anxiety, migraines, vomiting, hallucinations, confusion and insomnia.

Damn they better ban that shit quick!

Sounds like those are some stupid fuckhead researchers. They probably couldn't even finish a study on tylenol, let alone get it approved.


-FF


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: BZP pills' days may be numbered [AU] [Re: Emong]
    #6421175 - 01/03/07 01:01 PM (14 years, 4 months ago)

> At least if it's scheduled it'll allow things to be put into perspective.

Into perspective? In the US, for example, cannabis and MDMA are scheduled as a much more dangerous drugs than meth-amphetamines, cocaine, or heroin. When it comes to drugs, the government has zero perspective.

Better than outlaw it, make everything legal. Let Darwin take care of the idiots and let the rest of us have freedom to do with our bodies as we will. Tax the drugs and spend the tax money on honest education and rehabilitation programs. Dosages and "cuts" would be standardized reducing overdoses. Costs would be driven by standard market forces rather than black market forces, thus the price for drugs would fall leading to a drop in crime rates. Fewer people would be arrested for drug use, drug sales, or drug related crimes. Fewer arrests mean more police to prevent or solve violent crimes. Fewer arrests mean fewer prisoners means less tax money spent on prison systems.


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


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