Large rise in LSD-mimic drug interceptions

Dodgy drugs destined for Dunedin have been intercepted by New Zealand Customs, it has been revealed.

Yesterday Customs Minister Nicky Wagner warned of a sharp increase in seizures of potent LSD mimics and other analogue drugs on blotter tabs.

While just 11 tabs were intercepted in 2011, more than 16,700 tabs had been seized at the border over the past 18 months.

Figures released to the Otago Daily Times by the New Zealand Customs Service confirm the vast majority of interceptions were made at the International Mail Centre in Auckland.

However there had been two interceptions of 12 blotter tabs in Dunedin this year.

The only other centres to have recorded seizures of the blotter tabs this year had been in Auckland and Wellington.

''I'm very pleased at the huge effort Customs is making to stop these harmful blotter tabs from crossing the border,'' Ms Wagner said.

She warned of recent hospitalisations in Christchurch and deaths overseas, that ''show how easy it is to overdose on these drugs, which have high potency levels''.

Earlier this year four men had to be restrained at a Christchurch party after taking the drug, which has a street name of N-Bomb.

One of the men suffered kidney and cardiac complications and had been in a serious but stable condition in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit.

N-Bomb (25B-NBOMe or synthetic LSD) sells as a white powder in capsules. Recreational doses were measured in micrograms so ensuring a safe dose was extremely difficult.

There had been one recent death associated with an NBOMe drug in Australia and others elsewhere. The penalty under the Psychoactive Substances Act for importing LSD mimics, such as NBOMe, was a maximum of two years' jail.

Importing LSD has a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.


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