Hallucinogenic drug LSD is making a comeback on the Wellington drug scene, a leading doctor says.
A record amount of the drug was seized by police last year.
Wellington Hospital emergency medical specialist Paul Quigley said LSD had crept into the ecstasy market because users were more sure of a high.
If you're going to buy an illegal drug, you might as well get the hit you want ... That is literally the feeling behind it.
There had been at least six LSD-related hospital admissions since January, compared with eight for methamphetamine.
In March, two unresponsive men in their early twenties were taken to the hospital's emergency department from Kilbirnie by police.
One was standing in a shop front staring at the mannequins and the other was wandering aimlessly around a park.
A recent report by Massey University found though LSD use fell in the early 2000s after the emergence of ecstasy and methamphetamine, new evidence suggested that trend had reversed in the past two or three years.
Massey University's drug team leader, Chris Wilkins, said the information was gained through interviews carried out in 2009.
That may well have just been the tip of the trend.
The "significant decline" in the potency of ecstasy had come through strongly in research and mirrored international trends.
Dr Wilkins said he believed LSD could become more popular because about half of the people who used ecstasy already used LSD.
It would seem to be quite plausible that once ecstasy became lower quality and slightly more expensive, [LSD] would already be readily available ...
Further research was being carried out and they hoped to know more by early next year.
According to the Massey report, police seized the equivalent of 53,177 tabs of LSD last year, 175 per cent higher than the previous largest annual seizure, in 2000.
National Drug Intelligence Bureau coordinator Detective Inspector Stuart Mills said there had been few seizures this year. This was because of innovation by drug carriers and the fact there was possibly less LSD available.
But obviously with the large seizure last year it clearly indicates there is a market for LSD within New Zealand.
The head of the Wellington drug squad, Detective Inspector Darrin Thomson, said it had not noticed a change in seizures or arrests related to LSD.
We're always interested in those types of trends that are becoming of note to our health professionals.
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