The Southern District Health Board has declined to
discuss with the Otago Daily Times the impact of LSD and
ecstasy in the Wanaka area.
After eight Wanaka men were arrested for large-scale dealing
of the drugs this week, Southern district organised crime
squad head Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis spoke of
the ''wreckage'' the drugs had caused in the lives of people
in the town, some of whom had suffered ''serious mental
health issues'' as a result.
Southern DHB Central Otago alcohol and drug clinician Julie
Scurr this week declined to provide any information on the
extent of the problem in Wanaka, citing privacy issues.
The Otago Daily Times put a series of questions to Ms
Scurr, through the Southern DHB's media liaison, asking how
common ecstasy and LSD use was in the Wanaka area and if
there had been an increase in that type of drug use in the
''Drug use is always a concern. I am unable to comment on how
many people are affected by LSD and ecstasy in the Wanaka
area for privacy reasons,'' Ms Scurr said in response.
Det Snr Sgt Inglis told the ODT the kind of drugs
being supplied by the alleged offenders had resulted in one
user becoming suicidal.
Another had spent all his savings on the drugs.
Det Snr Sgt Inglis referred the ODT to the Southern
DHB, as did several other community agencies.
Robyn Cousins, a field worker for Supporting Families in
Mental Illness and Addiction, was unaware of an issue with
ecstasy and LSD in Wanaka and had not worked with anyone
''What I've seen more of is synthetic cannabis disturbances
within the family ...''
No town was immune to more serious drugs and their effects,
Mental health practitioner Heather Clay, who works for the
Southern PHO's brief intervention service, had not
encountered LSD and ecstasy problems.
''Alcohol and marijuana are our mainstays. We haven't noticed
anything else come our way.''