PARTY PILLS 'A HUGE DANGER' TO CHILDREN
PARTY pills that mimic the effects of methamphetamines and other class A drugs should be turfed out, says a Gisborne high schools drug and alcohol counsellor.
Brett Mataira told concerned parents at an information evening on Gisborne's party culture, that he did not understand why the Government had not recognised the dangers of these drugs.
"For me these pills mimic other drugs like speed and ecstasy," Mr Mataira said.
"What that means, as far as I am concerned, is that will lead to major health problems sooner or later for our youth.
"These party pills are absolutely of no benefit to anyone in society."
Mr Mataira said none of the students he had worked with in the high schools had admitted to using them but he had seen the damage they could do to people through his work with Awhina House.
St John Ambulance manager Shane Clapperton said the major problems occurred in first-time users of party pills, who were unaware of the effect the pills would have on them.
"Suddenly they are losing control of everything around them . . . they really are scared."
Mr Clapperton said his staff saw it time and time again at the Rhythm and Vines Festival.
He told parents to tell their children to avoid taking them.
"It's a huge danger."
Gisborne police detective Eric Hunter said party pills were trying to copy the effects of other hard drugs, such as LSD and speed.
"When younger people stop getting a big enough effect from them, they start to take more and more," Det Hunter said.
Trying to find the same initial buzz could eventually lead them on to harder drugs.
"They are a great concern for me."
One concerned parent asked Det Hunter why party pills were still legal if their effects were so concerning.
Det Hunter said there was nothing the police could do while the legislation still considered them legal.
"It was only last year that they passed the legislation to restrict the sale of the pills.
"There is not much the police can do at this stage," he said.