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1 December 2014

Seizures prompt synthetic drug warning

WA Health has issued a warning about synthetic drugs following a number of similar presentations to metropolitan emergency departments caused by an as-yet unidentified illicit drug.

WA Health Chief Pharmacist, Neil Keen said the patients were believed to have taken a drug called 'Wizard'. Some of these patients suffered seizures, some ended up in a coma and other presented with serious agitation and other effects."

"While we are yet to have a confirmed identification of what these people have taken, it is a timely warning for people to be very cautious about taking drugs like these," Mr Keen said.

Police in other states have already issued warnings about the high toxicity drug Wizard and there have been recent seizures of the drug in South Australia and New South Wales.

"Wizard can be a name used for a series of illicit drugs that have hallucinogenic effects (called NBOMe or 25i), usually sold in the form of 'blotter tabs', as pills, white powder or clear liquid," Mr Keen said.

"They can be sometimes sold as, or mistaken for, Ecstasy or LSD. NBOMe are very potent and it is easy to overdose. NOBMe use can be fatal."

"Wizard can also refer to synthetic cannabis, and in the cases presenting to WA hospitals it appears to have been sold as this."

"Taking new psychoactive substances, like synthetic cannabinoids or synthetic hallucinogens, can cause significant health problems. People cannot be sure what they are purchasing and the negative effect its use can cause."

Triple zero (000) should be called immediately if someone is experiencing effects from any of these drugs.

Both synthetic cannabis and NBOMe are prohibited in WA and there are significant penalties for supply and possession under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981.

Anyone selling or supply these drugs should be reported to the Police.

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