Synthetic drug theory in two deaths

NO MORE: St John Christchurch metro territory manager Craig Downing is very concerned about the use of synthetic drugs in Christchurch, which is making patients violent and unpredictable.

Police are waiting for toxicology results to determine if two people have died in Christchurch from synthetic drug use.

A person died yesterday morning in New Brighton, and a man was found unconscious on the footpath on Mairehau Rd on Monday night. He later died.

They are suspected of having used synthetic drugs.

Two others were in Christchurch Hospital’s intensive care unit yesterday.

Police and St John are so concerned about the use of synthetic drugs in Christchurch they called a media conference yesterday.

Ambulance officers attending call-outs to ill synthetic drug users are often attacked. They are having to sedate those patients.

St John Christchurch metro territory manager Craig Downing said patients who they suspect have taken the drugs are unpredictable and physically and verbally abusive.

“Keep your hands off our ambos. They aren’t there to be touched. We do our job because we care, we are empathetic . . . but that doesn’t give anyone the right to touch our staff,” he said.

On Saturday night, a St John officer in his 20s was “violently attacked” by a patient in an ambulance. The patient was arrested by police.

Detective Inspector Greg Murton said police are very concerned about hospital admissions as a result of synthetic drug use in Canterbury.

“Users are taking chances with their very lives . . . there are inherent risks for users of these drugs because they don’t know what they are taking.”

Dealers and manufacturers have no scruples whatsoever about what they are putting in these drugs and they are the only ones who know what’s in them, end users don’t know at all.’’

Detective Inspector Murton said anyone with information about dealers and manufacturers of party pills or synthetic drugs should phone the police at any time. They can do that anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555111.