SDHB will not talk about drug impact

Malcolm Inglis
Malcolm Inglis
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 community.

''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 affected.

''What I've seen more of is synthetic cannabis disturbances within the family ...''

No town was immune to more serious drugs and their effects, she said.

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.''


Wrong answer

The spin doctors have got it wrong, again. The information requested can be provided while still maintaining privacy. Fact!