Study proves success of Psychotic Substances Bill

A study shows that  the introduction of the Pstchotic Substances Bill plus further tightening of legal availability of synthetic highs has “virtually stopped the flow of users needing mental health care.”

So have synthetic users stopped using drugs? Or have they switched to other drugs that either don’t cause the same need for mental health treatment?

Or did the study not look at treatment levels required for the effects of other drugs?

Radio NZ reports in Synthetic drug ban success – study

Otago University chair of psychiatry Paul Glue, who is also a consultant psychiatrist at the Southern DHB, led a study into the impact of the law change, published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

Professor Glue said, before the law change, emergency departments saw young people with psychosis, severe mood problems, aggression, depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies as a result of taking legal highs.

“In early 2013, we had a large number of young people turning up who needed admission to hospital related to smoking synthetic cannabis… and so it was obviously a real concern in terms of patients’ health and safety, and really as a public health problem as well.”

“In the middle of 2013, the Psychoactive Substances BIll came along, and that approximately halved the number of products that were available for sale, but more importantly it reduced the number of places where synthetic cannabis could be sold from,” he said.

“We saw a 50 percent reduction in attendances at ED [emergency department] or EPS [emergency psychiatric service], but the presentation was exactly the same, exactly the same kind of demographic, these were primarily young men who had histories of mental illness.”

So the Bill seems to have had an immediate significant impact.

Last year, following high profile campaigns and media coverage about the impact of synthetic highs on individuals and communities, the law was further tightened, removing all products from the shelves.

Under the law, a product has to pass a testing regime and be sold with a licence, and no companies have so far applied for or received a licence.

Professor Glue said, after this change, the number of people needing care after taking legal highs almost disappeared altogether.

“People had gone out and bought lots of products, and then smoked it, and once it was gone, the harm stopped.”

This sounds like the Bill has been a major success. The media hasn’t been reporting problems or concerns.

Are people with mental health issues not taking drugs any more or have they switched to drugs that cause less problems.

Your 2013

There’s no point in me wishing you anything, because 2013 will end up being what you make of it yourself, alongside things you (and I) can’t do anything about.

Happiness, success and prosperity, and overcoming adversity, none of these things are given with hopes and wishes. Blogs and tweets and status updates today won’t change your future.

The more you strive for what you want, the more you make positive things happen, the luckier you will get.

Shit will happen, how you deal with it and overcome it will determine the degree of impact it will have.

Happiness will only happen if you look for it. And allow it.

We all have worries, the best we can do is minimise worrying about things that don’t really matter, and don’t dwell on things that will probably never eventuate.

Doom and gloom merchants just buy themselves doom and gloom.

Nothing is a given in life, apart from the fact that we are currently lucky to be alive in one of the best parts of the world in the best of times for human civilisation. That is something worth celebrating and cherishing.

Not everything and everyone is good, and they never will be. But if we look for good we will see it. If we do good we will more likely be rewarded.

Our lives will be better if we make the effort to make them better.

2013 will be affected by many things, some of which we have no control over. But it is in our own hands too.

Look for good, and do good, and your 2013 will be better than it otherwise would have been.

2013 is another opportunity to enjoy life and share life.

Your 2013 is up to nature, it is up to country wide and world wide influences, it is up to your community and your family. And it’s up to you.

Ultimately your 2013 will be what you make of it.