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New drug worries doctors at Christchurch Hospital

New drug worries doctors and nurses at Christchurch Hospital

March 9, 2014

New drug worries doctors and nurses at Christchurch Hospital

Emergency staff at Christchurch Hospital are concerned about the emergence of a new drug in Christchurch after one user ended up in Intensive Care and another three were treated at hospital after 9pm on Saturday night.

The four males, aged in their 20s, had taken a drug called 25B-NBOMe and had been attending a party in the city when they quickly developed confusion and agitation. Police were called to the scene after the four males were then allegedly involved in a violent disturbance. The males were restrained and brought into Christchurch Hospital Emergency for treatment.

Little is known about NBOMe drugs or their potential toxicity in humans. These drugs include 25B-NBOMe and 25I-NBOMe. They are powerful hallucinogens and are related to amphetamines so have the potential toxicities of both classes of drug. There has been one recent death associated with an NBOMe drug in Australia and others overseas.

25B-NBOMe is also known as ‘N-Bomb” or ‘synthetic LSD’. It is a white powder or can be sold in capsules. Recreational doses are measured in tiny microgram quantities so estimating a safe versus a dangerous dose is extremely difficult.

One of the drug users brought in to Christchurch Hospital yesterday suffered kidney and cardiac complications and remains in a serious but stable condition in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit. The other three appear to have escaped permanent harm and were discharged today. Emergency clinicians are advising drug users and the public to avoid any drug sold as an NBOMe type because of the potential for serious harm.


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