An archive of recent news articles on the topic of alcohol and drugs.
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8th May 2013
Before buying their new home, an Auckland couple specifically asked their real estate agent if it had been a P lab.
Five days after they settled in, the house tested positive for methamphetamine contamination.
They are now urging home buyers to have their own testing done before signing the deed.
"It is very disappointing that they [the agents] were not up to speed with such a common problem," said the husband. The couple did not want to be named because of ongoing legal processes.
"As experienced professionals they should have known better and they should have given us guidance."
8th May 2013
Spike in incidents related to legal highs as father tells of heartbreak watching son go 'cold turkey'.
New Zealand communities are battling to rid themselves of synthetic cannabis - with the Government's promised solution months away.
The synthetic drugs were pulled from shelves in August 2011. But reformulated products have been quickly introduced which avoid the banned chemicals and can legally be sold. That has meant products such as K2 are freely available at dairies and other stores.
A Herald survey on Victoria St West in central Auckland yesterday found that Seven Mart Convenience Store, Flesh n' Fruity Superette and City Star Convenience Store stocked synthetic cannabis.
A worker at Flesh n' Fruity said K2 brought out new formulations to beat any bans: "Next time you're in there might be a new [version]."
2nd May 2013
Police in Oamaru are calling for both sides of an ongoing dispute over the sale of legal highs in the town to act responsibly, after a dairy owner yesterday allegedly turned a water blaster on a group of protesters campaigning against the sale of K2.
Police were called to intervene in the stoush between protesters and owners of the Meadowbank Dairy, on Thames Highway, at noon. Although Senior Constable Carl Pedersen said no charges would be brought, both protesters and the shop owners had been spoken to.
Mr Pedersen said the shop owners had decided to do some water blasting during the protest and had "indirectly" sprayed some of the protesters.
2nd May 2013
The drought has done the Gisborne and Hawke's Bay regions a favour by considerably reducing the size and quality of the annual cannabis crop, says eastern police district organised crime head, Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Foster.
Police conducted a marijuana swoop from the end of February and into the first two weeks of March, using a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter.
"We seized and destroyed 7500 plants across the Hawke's Bay, Wairoa, Gisborne and East Coast districts, with about 4000 of those plants growing around Gisborne and on the East Coast," Mr Foster said.
30th April 2013
In February, the Australian Crime Commission issued a report alleging the widespread use in professional sport of peptides - performance enhancing drugs that are cheap, accessible and very likely being used in New Zealand. Herald reporter Steve Deane put his body on the line to find out how easy the drugs are to obtain and their effect on sporting performance. The needle hurts more than I expect as it slides into my belly's fatty tissue. Depressing the plunger on the 1ml insulin syringe brings another stream of pain, but it's far from severe.
30th April 2013
Low-level importers of new generation performance-enhancing drugs are still unlikely to face prosecution despite the Government changing its view on the legal status of some substances.
Medsafe, the Government's regulatory body for medicines, has shelved plans to add some classes of peptides to the schedule of the Medicines Act and has instead introduced a new interpretation that substances such as growth hormone peptides are already covered by the act.
This reversal comes after the Herald received documents under the Official Information Act showing Medsafe planned to recommend five classes of peptide be reclassified at the next meeting of the Medicines Classification Committee. Originally scheduled for tomorrow, that meeting has now been postponed.
23rd April 2013
Residents are returning to their houses this morning following a suspected P lab explosion that has injured at least one man.
Some residents were walking the beach to access their homes.
Many said they did not hear the explosion, although a neighbour said he heard a compressor begin early this morning.
23rd April 2013
Another aggravated robbery of a Dunedin dairy this week has prompted police to warn shopowners about the dangers of selling synthetic cannabis products.
There had now been seven aggravated robberies involving synthetic cannabis in the Southern district during the past two years, with the majority in the Dunedin area, Proactive Policing Team Sergeant Chris McLellan said yesterday.
"It is getting to the point where we are stressing to the dairies not only are they putting themselves at risk, but putting their customers at risk also.
"They need to seriously consider their situation because the product will cause them danger."
17th April 2013
Three young adults have suffered severe kidney injuries this month after smoking synthetic cannabinoids, the Canterbury District Health Board says.
Two required treatment in intensive care.
In 2011 the Government banned all existing synthetic cannabis products, including industry-leader Kronic, which had been sold in dairies.
However, new products have skirted the ban by having a slightly altered chemical make-up.
Canterbury medical officer of health Alistair Humphrey said clinicians had growing concerns about the easy accessibility and safety of the drugs, as well as the long term effects they could have on people's physical and mental health.
17th April 2013
Contaminated vehicle returned to owner. Police and specialists are warning of the rising use of stolen vehicles as mobile meth labs - which are sometimes returned to unsuspecting owners after being contaminated.
One horrified businesswoman had her stolen BMW car returned worthless after it was used for a drug-making operation.
The $28,000 silver sedan was taken from her home at Farm Cove, Pakuranga, in October. It was recovered in December during a police operation in West Auckland and she is still negotiating an insurance settlement.
The married mother of three, who asked not to be named, had the car examined after police advised her thieves might have manufactured methamphetamine, or P, in the boot.