WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised, some scenes may offend some people.
A disturbing online clip that shows a pair in a 'zombie-like' state after consuming an unknown drug substance has gone viral. A West Auckland man posted the raw video of his sister and her partner ‘high’ on what he says is ‘bath salts’, and he did so to raise drug awareness due to his frustrations around youth drug consumption.
The clip has brought the graphic effects of drug use to the forefront and the NZ Drug Foundation says that unlike legal highs that were sold from the dairy, these bath salts are dangerous with unknown long-term effects, which has prompted further warnings.
The video shows a couple drooling and groaning with restrictive movements and showing symptoms of nausea. Questions to the pair asking, 'are you all right', go unanswered.
New Zealand Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell says the video is “disturbing”.
"It's highlighting the real dangers of the New Zealand black market for drugs right now. There's a whole lot of new and very dangerous drugs that are on the market and clearly it's getting people in real trouble."
Bell says the substance used in the footage could be ‘bath salts’, which is a slang term used to loosely describe a diverse and evolving drug family available on the black market. Chemical combinations are created to mimic drugs like ecstasy and are marketed under the same names. Substances received by users were likely to be an inconsistent Pick 'n' Mix.
“There's a full range of drugs that come under this very broad umbrella,” he says.
“Some of them aren't too harmful but some of them are really risky and some of them have killed [people], so because they're new and unknown and they all look the same users are putting themselves at real risk because they don't know what they're taking."
Bell says some of these drugs are more harmful than methamphetamine, having already claimed the life of one New Zealander. They are imported mostly online and arrive in the post.
"Sniffer dogs don't know what to look for, customs don't know what to look for, so they are distributed very easily and very quickly. So traditional law enforcement approaches aren't going to help us get on top of this problem.”
Bell says if Police and other departments seize substances like these, information should be made public, and if anyone finds themselves in a similar situation shown in the video to call 111.
The 20-year-old man who posted the clip told Te Kāea he has received support and backlash for posting it online, and he disputes remarks that he is seeking fame as his goal was to raise awareness around drug effects.
He says his 22-year-old sister was not aware of her state at the time, but now sober, she wants to change after seeing the video.
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