Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Research Project on Party Pills shows high use

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

Progressive Leader

13 June 2006 Media Statement

First Research Project on Party Pills shows high use

"The first of four research projects commissioned by the Ministry of Health on party pill or BZP use and its effects has been completed," Jim Anderton, chair of the Ministerial Committee on Drugs, announced today.

“The findings of this study show that the number of New Zealanders taking party pills or BZP is much higher than previously thought, with as many as one in five having tried them.

"This is important information about party pill use and will be referred to the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs to consider at its next meeting scheduled in July," Associate Health Minister, Jim Anderton said.

"I am concerned about all drug use and the tragic consequences it can have on young people's lives. We know very little about the long-term effects of party pills in general and BZP in particular," he said. "This is why the Government has commissioned research to find out more."

According to research by Massey University's Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation (SHORE), one in seven people in the phone survey had used legal party pills over the past year. About half said they had taken them only once or twice in that period.

"The Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs will be reviewing the status of BZP when more evidence on the danger or otherwise is known. The EACD will then consider what further measures might be warranted to reduce the potential for harm. This might involve further regulating the manufacture and supply of BZP or, potentially, recommending that it be made illegal." Jim Anderton said.

The latest research shows 20 per cent of those surveyed had tried party pills or BZP and 15 per cent had used them over the past year.

Use was greatest among 18 to 24-year-olds with up to 38 per cent saying they had taken them over the past year. About half the party pill takers said they had suffered from sleep problems. Other side effects included poor appetite, hot and cold flushes, heavy sweating, stomach pain and nausea, headaches, tremors and shakes, loss of energy, strange thoughts and mood swings.

Party pills are legal but they cannot be sold to under 18-year-olds or advertised in major media - TV, radio or print. About 60 per cent of all people surveyed said they supported tougher regulation of party pill sales. Nearly half of these people supported prohibition of party pills.

Reports from the other studies are expected over the next six months. ENDS

Questions and Answers -

What are party pills?
Legal party pills are sold under a wide range of product names including ‘Charge’, ‘Kandi’ and ‘Red Hearts’. The main active ingredients are benzylpiperazine (BZP) and triflourophenylmethylpiperazine (TFMPP). These substances are produced synthetically. BZP has been found to have effects similar to low potency amphetamine while TFMPP is reported to have effects similar to ecstasy. However, there have been no reliable studies to back up these reported effects or to document the potential short and long term harms.

What has been done so far?
The Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) considered the classification of BZP and related substances in March 2004. The EACD concluded that there was insufficient evidence available to classify these substances as either Class A, B or C substances, and recommended that research into BZP prevalence and harm be commissioned. In June 2005, BZP was classified under the newly created Schedule 4 of the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act 2005 as a Restricted Substance. The sale and supply of BZP is restricted to those 18 years old and over and the advertising of party pills in mainstream media is prohibited.

Who did the research?
The research, Legal party pill use in New Zealand was conducted by Massey University's Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation (SHORE) and comprised a random national household sample of 2010 people aged from 13 to 45 years old in February and March this year. The overall response rate was 69 per cent.

-

The research report Legal party pill use in New Zealand: Prevalence of use, availability, health harms and “gateway effects” of benzylpiperazine (BZP) and triflourophenylmethylpiperazine (TFMPP) can be accessed at: http://www.shore.ac.nz/projects/Legal%20Party%20Pills.htm


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages