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Wellington death possibly related to synthetic drugs: Police

TIMOCI VULA
Friday, November 10, 2017

Update: 2:58PM WELLINGTON, NZ: HUTT Valley Police are investigating a death last night which they say is possibly related to synthetic drugs.

Police say the deceased is a 36-year-old man who lived in the Hutt Valley, just minutes outside central Wellington.

Police have referred the death to the Coroner.

"It is important to stress that the Coroner's investigation will take some time and is at a very early stage," says Hutt Valley Area Commander Inspector Sean Hansen.

"There is a possibility that this death may not have been caused by a synthetic drug and this is ultimately for the Coroner to decide," Inspector Hansen said in a statement issued by New Zealand Police today.

Police are focused on holding to account those who are manufacturing or supplying this drug.

Police have already seized a significant amount of synthetic drugs from addresses within the Hutt Valley and the wider Wellington district, and a number of arrests have been made.

"Police are working closely with other government agencies such as District Health Boards, the Ministry of Health, Customs and Coronial Services, to ensure that the public is well informed about the dangers of taking this drug.

"Like with any drug, Police cannot solve this problem alone and we need our community to tell us who is infecting our community with this drug."

Members of the public who may have any information are advised to contact Police directly or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Separate incidents

Meanwhile, Police in Porirua have confirmed that they do know of several incidents since the weekend involving a number of people, who are believed to be linked to the effects of synthetic drugs.

Police have urged those using drugs to stop immediately and contact their GP or the Alcohol Drug Helpline for help to stop.

"We also ask members of our community who may think someone has taken synthetic drugs to call 111 immediately and seek medical assistance for them," says Kapiti-Mana Area Commander Inspector Tracey Thompson.

Staying safe

New Zealand Police say that together with the other key agencies, they were extremely concerned about synthetic drug use.

"These drugs can cause significant harm and can be fatal for users, who have no way of knowing what the manufacturer has used to make or modify the drug.

"They can be completely blind to what they?re really taking. Psychoactive substances are also illegal," Police said.

Anyone using synthetic drugs are urged to stop immediately and seek help if needed by contacting their local GP or by ringing the Alcohol and Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797; or text 8681 seven days a week to speak to a trained counselor.








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