Author Topic: Legal highs did little to curb drug use  (Read 2209 times)

Offline smfadmin (OP)

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Legal highs did little to curb drug use
« on: July 11, 2015, 05:33:56 AM »

Legal highs did little to curb drug use ... by Murray Wilson/ FAIRFAX NZ

For parts of 2013 and 2014, a regulated market in legal highs operated in New Zealand.

New Zealand's short-lived experiment with legal highs did little to curb drug use, a survey suggests.

For parts of 2013 and 2014, a regulated market in legal highs operated in New Zealand. The scheme was scrapped and synthetic cannabis banned amid public outcry in May 2014.

Among Kiwis who took part in the Global Drug Survey, more than one in ten (13.5 per cent) of those surveyed said they had used a legal high during the regulated period. Among that group, almost two-thirds (64 per cent) said they carried on using other drugs as they had before. Only one-fifth (21.8 per cent) used less natural cannabis.

"It seems having more drugs available simply led to most existing users adopting a broader range of drugs," survey founder and consultant psychiatrist Dr Adam Winstock said.

"This is perhaps contrary to the outcome the manufacturers - and perhaps the Government - were hoping for, [which was] that these 'legal' drugs would substitute for other non-regulated, untaxed drugs."

READ MORE: Global Drug Survey 2015: Key results for New Zealand

The majority (82 per cent) said they had not used a legal high since the regulated market in them was reversed. However, almost a third (30.1 per cent) said they had started using more natural cannabis after the reversal.

New Zealand Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said some Kiwis wanted to get high with whatever was available.

"Kiwis want to get high. And we will get high on whatever we can get our hands on. We don't really discriminate," he said.

The survey, which covered more than 100,000 people worldwide, found that synthetic cannabis was much more likely than natural cannabis to lead to acute health risks.

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Compared with natural cannabis, synthetic cannabis users reported longer withdrawal symptoms, more rapid onset but shorter duration of effects and more rapid development of tolerance.

"The findings suggest that synthetic cannabinoid products carry a significant and probably greater risk of dependence and withdrawal than natural cannabis products," Winstock said.

"The patterns of withdrawal symptoms is broadly similar to that seen with cannabis withdrawal but with more pronounced physical symptoms including sweating, palpitations and shaking."

Globally, almost three quarters of users smoked synthetic cannabis in a joint with tobacco and 22 percent preferred a bong.

One in every 30 who had used synthetic cannabis in the last year had sought emergency medical treatment - the highest of any drug studied in the survey.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 05:35:57 AM by smfadmin »
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Re: Legal highs did little to curb drug use
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2015, 09:14:00 AM »
  Personally, I cannot fathom wanting to smoke synthetic cannabis. I mean I have heard so many negative things about it. Just seems like buying the real thing or growing it yourself is the best and of course all natural way to go.

   Guess a lot of people will try anything to get high. No thanks.

Offline Narkotikon

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Re: Legal highs did little to curb drug use
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2015, 09:45:33 AM »
The thing that struck me was that they expected users of these legal drugs to quit or decrease their consumption of illegal drugs.  That's just absurd IMO.

I'm not sure how it is there, but in the US the only "legal" drugs are natural weed (if you live in certain states), synthetic weed made with legal (i.e, as-of-yet unregulated) synthetic cannabinoids, kratom (in certain states), and certain unscheduled RC's / pharms, like MXE or etizolam (again, only in certain states / areas).  There are no legal synthetics for all classes of drugs.

It's ignorant to assume that just because someone has legal access to synthetic weed, that they'll stop using cocaine, heroin, meth, etc.  Lots of addicts are poly-drug users.  But most users have a go-to favorite.  I can't see an opiate addict choosing to quit opiates just b/c they can get stoned on legal weed. 

They shouldn't have stopped the regulated, legal experiment.  If anything, they should have widened the scope and legalized other drugs. 
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Re: Legal highs did little to curb drug use
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2015, 09:49:29 AM »
the BZP and TFMPP were the most popular and I tried a few whilst holidaying in NZ

they were crappy mimics of stims. and MDMA ... no great loss but the experiment had merit.
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