Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre


What is AMB-FUBINACA? – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 15th, 2017.

Yesterday, New Zealand Police confirmed 20 deaths linked to synthetic drugs since July. Most of the samples from people who had died, and those seized in raids by police, were found to contain the dangerous chemical AMB-FUBINACA. The SMC prepared this Q&A on what is known about AMB-FUBINACA. Feel free to use these comments in your reporting. Prof […]

Police confirm synthetic drug causing deaths – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 15th, 2017.

Police have confirmed the dangerous chemical AMB-FUBINACA is present in synthetic drugs linked to 20 deaths in the past few months. In a statement on Thursday, police and the Chief Coroner said the majority of ESR testing had found the chemical AMB-FUBINACA, which has been linked to users being in a ‘zombie-like’ state in the […]

Synthetic Cannabis Deaths — In The News

Tessa Evans posted in on July 25th, 2017.

On Friday, the Chief Coroner and NZ Police issued a warning about synthetic cannabis which has been linked to at least seven recent deaths in Auckland. The seven dead are believed to have used synthetic cannabis recently or were found with it on them. Auckland City Hospital’s emergency department has seen 31 people suspected of taking synthetic […]

Police issue warning about synthetic cannabis – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on July 21st, 2017.

The Chief Coroner and NZ Police have issued a warning following at least seven recent deaths in Auckland that they say appears to be linked to the use of synthetic cannabis. The SMC asked experts to comment on the police announcement. Feel free to use these comments in your reporting. Dr Paul Quigley, emergency medicine specialist, Wellington […]

Drug survey reveals rise of internet dealers – In the News

John Kerr posted in on April 21st, 2016.

An annual survey of frequent drug users has revealed that the internet is becoming an increasingly common tool for sourcing drugs. The latest results from the Massey University Illicit Drug Monitoring System (IDMS) study show 72 per cent of frequent drug users report increased buying and selling of drugs via social media and encrypted websites. […]

Synthetic cannabis deaths in Australia – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on January 15th, 2015.

Two Australian men have died after suspected poisoning from a batch of synthetic cannabis. A 33-year old man from Queensland has died, and a second 41-year old man who was in critical condition has now also died, after suspected poisoning from a batch of synthetic cannabis. Both men fell ill in Mackay, in central Queensland, […]

Synthetic cannabinoid consequences – Prof Ian Shaw

John Kerr posted in on May 12th, 2014.

Professor Ian Shaw, a toxicologist at the University of Canterbury, gives a crash course in synthetic cannabis chemistry and addiction in an opinion article in the Press. An excerpt (read in full here): Drugs must be tested on animals OPINION: Toxicologist IAN SHAW explores the “legal high” debate and looks at how the products activate […]

Govt rules out animal testing for legal highs

John Kerr posted in on May 5th, 2014.

Prime Minister John Key has ruled out the use of animals in safety testing for new psychoactive substances. Speaking to Radio New Zealand and TVNZ Breakfast this morning, the Prime Minster stated that animal testing would not be part of a safety regime that requires manufactures of psychoactive substances to prove their products are low […]

More synthetic cannabinoids banned – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on October 14th, 2011.

New drug legislation has been used a second time to quickly ban emerging psychoactive substances thought to be on the brink of being marketed as “legal highs”. From today, three new synthetic cannabinoids have been classified as ‘temporary class drugs’ – meaning that for one year they are legally considered a Class C drug, (equivalent […]

Synthetic cannabis contains chemical cocktails

John Kerr posted in on July 13th, 2011.

Following  the revelation of new data from Environmental Science and Research (ESR) on Monday, the media  have reported widely on what is in synthetic cannabis brands like Kronic, and how this knowledge will change workplace drug testing. On Monday the Science Media Centre hosted a briefing with experts from ESR and the National Poisons Centre […]

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