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News (Media Awareness Project) - New Zealand: Drug Users Relieved After 'Dangerous' Pills
Title:New Zealand: Drug Users Relieved After 'Dangerous' Pills
Published On:2011-11-20
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)
Fetched On:2011-11-23 06:01:15

Drug users have welcomed a massive Ecstasy bust, saying the pills on
the streets were dangerous.

In a press conference this week, police displayed bags of thousands
of pills which are known on the street as red rockets, yellow
rockets, blue choppers, green rolling stones and pink lips.

Officer in charge of the 12-month Operation Ark, Detective Inspector
Bruce Good, said the "sophisticated" syndicate was producing red
rockets that caused users to suffer seizures and hallucinations.

Good said some of the pills were being produced at a factory which
also manufactured rat poison.

It was estimated the syndicate was responsible for producing between
80 and 90 per cent of the country's Ecstasy over several years.

Users on the forum tripme.co.nz said the pills did not appear to
contain MDMA - the main ingredient in Ecstasy - but chemicals from a
family of hallucinogenics called 2C.

"Them bs pressing 2CX into street pills is what doomed everything.

"We were living a pill-friendly, take-it-or-leave-it type of country
for quite a while before people ended up in hospitals, tripping
balls, wondering why they aren't feeling strimmed or chatty," one wrote.

University of Otago student Andy told the Herald on Sunday the seized
pills were a hallucinogenic or "trippy" type, different from
traditional Ecstasy.

He said they cost $60 each in Dunedin. "I started uni in 2009 and
they were around then, but seem to have become more available over
the three years spent here," he said.

The new pills were more similar to LSD. "They start by altering your
visual perceptions, making things look strange, such as patterns
starting to move," he said.

"However, other effects start in which can be very intense. Social
situations can suddenly become scary and the user may start talking
gibberish, situations become confusing and they may become scared
because they cannot control themselves tripping out."

He found the experience terrifying. "Things slowly come back to being
manageable about four or five hours after tripping, and sleep is
difficult until the next night," he said.

Drug experts warn the bust could spark a price rise and more-toxic
pills flooding the streets.

Ross Bell, executive director of the New Zealand Drug Foundation,
said there could be "a lot of opportunists trying to cash in on what
they might see as a big gap in the market". Massey University drug
researcher Dr Chris Wilkins said Ecstasy users might pay more for
their pills in the future.

"When supply becomes tight there are usually two ways in which
dealers respond. The price goes up and they start cutting their
products with other stuff, so the potency and quality goes down," he said.

"But the recent arrests could prove to be a circuit-breaker in the
supply of Ecstasy and some users may take the opportunity to give it up."
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