Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department issues warning over synthetic cannabis
Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department has seen a number of people suffering from probable severe synthetic
cannabis toxicity, with seven people treated in the past 24 hours and three needing admission to the Intensive Care
Paul Gee, Emergency Medicine Specialist, Canterbury DHB says there has been a noticeable increase in patient attendances
at the Emergency Department for side effects of synthetic cannabis use.
Some have minor adverse effects but others are more serious. Last month a man suffered a cardiac arrest after using
synthetic cannabis but was successfully resuscitated.
Toxicology analysis has identified the substance taken by the patients as either AMB-FUBINACA or AB-FUBINACA.
AMB-FUBINACA has been linked to numerous deaths in the North Island during the past year.
Canterbury DHB is unable to give any information to help drug users identify this lethal drug as patients were unable to
disclose any useful information.
Synthetic cannabis users in Canterbury should be extremely cautious.
“There are dangerous synthetic drugs available and taking them could seriously harm or kill you,” Dr Gee said.
Drug and addiction help can be accessed at Tuhauora, Christchurch’s Central Coordination Service
firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Alcohol and Drug Helpline 0800 787 797.
Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is a Christchurch, New Zealand based hospital and healthcare provider for the
Canterbury region of New Zealand. Our region extends from Kekerengu in the North, to Rangitata in the South and Arthurs
Pass in the West and comprises the six Territorial Local Authorities of Kaikoura, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Christchurch
City, Selwyn and Ashburton.
We collaborate with other health and disability organisations, stakeholders and our community to decide what health and
disability services are needed and how to best use the funding we receive from Government to improve, promote and
protect the health, wellbeing and independence of our population.
At the Canterbury DHB, our vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Canterbury.