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Party pill report

16 December 2005

Party pill report

A report from Christchurch Hospital on the dangers of party pills has highlighted the need for tighter regulations on production, the party pill industry says.

The Social Tonics Association of New Zealand (STANZ) wants the Government to pass regulations under urgency to restrict the dosage size of the main ingredient in party pills, 1-benzylpiperazine (BZP).

The industry is concerned that overdose pills are being produced in Christchurch containing five times the industry’s recommended dosage of 200mg of BZP.

STANZ spokesperson Matt Bowden says the Government needs to restrict the dosage size to 200mg per pill and package sizes to 600mg.

“Party pills can be a relatively safe alternative to other drugs and alcohol but we are concerned about a number of producers in Christchurch selling pills up to five times the recommended dosage,” Mr Bowden says.

“With more than 20 million pills consumed by kiwis in the past five years, with no regulation whatsoever, to see no deaths is quite incredible.”
Party pills were introduced to reduce demand for methamphetamine and appear to have been successful, he says. “Unlike methamphetamine, which caused a spate murders and suicides, we get few adverse events from BZP.”

It is concerning however that a high number of Christchurch Hospital patients had combined party pills with alcohol or other drugs.

“This is a recipe for disaster,” Mr Bowden says. “Before New Years, make a decision what drugs or alcohol you are going to use, and stick to the plan, don’t over do it, and don’t take cocktails. Take it easy this year.”

The industry also endorses the report’s warnings against the use of party pills by people with a history of mental illness or seizures, or while taking any medication, or driving within 8 hours after taking party pills.

“The industry wants these warnings to be mandatory on all BZP products, along with clear dosage indications,” Mr Bowden says.

ENDS

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