11 Mar 2014

Warning about powerful new drug

12:39 pm on 11 March 2014

More tabs of LSD and its synthetic counterpart, known as N-bomb, have been seized by police in one month this year than in all of 2012.

Blotter paper containing 25CNBOMe.

Blotter paper containing 25CNBOMe. Photo: SUPPLIED

Authorities are warning of the growing danger from the synthetic drug after two people were admitted to Christchurch Hospital in a critical condition in less than a week.

Police seized nearly 1320 tabs of LSD and N-Bomb in January this year, compared with just under 1300 tabs in 2012. Almost 19,000 were seized in 2013.

In one incident, Christchurch Hospital said four men became confused and agitated at a party on Saturday night and were involved in a violent disturbance. They were restrained by police before being taken to hospital.

It says a man with kidney and cardiac complications is now in a stable condition after treatment in the intensive care unit. The other three were discharged on Sunday.

Medical staff say the drug has been linked to a recent death in Australia and others overseas.

National Poisons Centre toxicologist Leo Schep says the centre became aware of the drug in New Zealand a couple of years ago and it's now increasingly popular as a form of hallucinogenic drug. But as there is "so much we don't know" about its effects, he says, the centre's advice is to stay away from it.

A senior researcher at Massey University's Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation centre says N-bomb is becoming more prevalent. Chris Wilkins says over the past 12 months there has been an increase in LSD use and availability, which is most likely N-bomb rather than the traditional LSD, as users often can't tell the difference.