A Christchurch mother wants a legal synthetic cannabis product banned after watching her "normal" 24-year-old daughter become "totally paranoid" after taking it.
The R18 K2, which is legally available in blueberry and chocolate flavours, has side-effects that include extreme anger, high levels of anxiety and psychotic symptoms.
The woman, who will not be named to protect the identity of her other children, said her daughter had been frothing at the mouth, had suspected seizures and had become totally paranoid since becoming addicted to the drug. She had since been committed to a psychiatric and drug-addiction unit.
About two weeks ago, the Dunedin-based 24-year-old rang her mother and confessed to taking the drug for about a year after deciding that it was safer than smoking marijuana or drinking. "She said she was having problems and it was just so bad. She asked me what she should do."
A week later her daughter rang again as she was wandering the streets in a "total state of confusion".
The mother rushed to Dunedin where, with the help of a friend, they got her daughter to hospital.
"Outwardly they don't look that bad, but inwardly she was totally non-functioning."
She said having her daughter committed to a psychiatric and drug-addiction unit was one of the hardest decisions of her life.
She spoke to The Press in the hope that other parents would not have to do the same. "It's so unregulated. They just don't know what it does and they are selling it as a legal high," she said.
"How can they sell a drug and not know how dangerous it is?"
After a week in the unit, her daughter was still suffering severe effects, mainly high anxiety and sleep deprivation.
"It's absolutely scary. I live with hope that she will make a full recovery."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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