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Drug Foundation cautions 'careful' party pill use

New Zealand Drug Foundation

19 March 2008

Drug Foundation cautions 'careful' party pill use and no stockpiling as Easter approaches

The Drug Foundation is cautioning users on 'careful' use of party pills containing benzylpiperazine (BZP) as Easter approaches, and Parliament this week passed a Bill making BZP-based party pills illegal from 1 April.

Ross Bell, Executive Director of the Foundation said, "Easter is traditionally a time for enjoying the last days of summer, a time away from work where people go out more socially and imbibe greater quantities of alcohol and other drugsis. This combination of factors makes the Easter period potentially a very risky one for users of party pills."

Following the announcement of the ban, some retailers have significantly reduced their prices for BZP pills to offload their stock before 1 April. Some retailers are selling at half-price.

"Given the drop in prices, users are likely to buy and use more party pills. Those retailers trying to beat the ban and make a quick buck are acting irresponsibly. They are doing so in the full knowledge that party pill users will buy more than they usually would, and use them in a risky way.

"At the same time, we advise caution to those who are planning to make the most of the final weeks of legal party pills. Don't take more than the recommended dose, sip water, look after yourself and look after your friends."

Ross Bell added, "The cheap pills make it tempting for people to 'stockpile'. What they probably don't realise is that anyone possessing more than 5 grams or 100 pills is classified as a supplier and is not protected by the six-month amnesty for personal use. This makes them liable for prosecution under the Misuse of Drugs Act. By taking advantage of cheap pills, you could quite easily find yourself foul of the law and ignorance is no excuse in a court of law."

ENDS

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