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Illegal ephedrine the culprit in drug death

25 May 2005

Illegal ephedrine the culprit in drug death

The illegal drug ephedrine was the culprit in the tragic death of a young man in Hawera, not conventional BZP-based party pills, as is being reported.

The Social Tonics Association of New Zealand today said ephedrine has been banned for use in New Zealand since 1998, and has been implicated in a number of deaths around the world.

Members of the Social Tonics Association do not use any illegal ingredients at any time.

STANZ Spokesperson Matt Bowden said the death of the young man was an absolute tragedy and he hoped Parliament would quickly pass a bill making it even harder to import the illegal drug ephedrine.

“It is very important that we are completely clear about what has happened in this tragic case, and that we do what all can to prevent this from happening again,” he said.

The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill, which places an R18 restriction on BZP, is currently before Parliament. The Bill, which is strongly supported by STANZ, also imposes harsher penalties for importing the illegal drug ephedrine.

Ephedrine has previously been used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, and as a supplement by body builders.

Over eight million BZP-based products have been sold in New Zealand over the last five years, with no deaths and very few hospital admissions. There is no data suggesting death from BZP anywhere in the world.

ENDS

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