James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

It's way more addictive than pot - ex addict

Dion Chammey.
Dion Chammey.

Dion Chammey first tried synthetic cannabis a couple of years ago for recreation, but after a traumatic event it became an ingrained part of his lifestyle and almost impossible to kick, he says.

The 49-year-old, a heavy marijuana user for 30 years, said he used synthetic cannabis products as a "blocker" for personal issues.

By August last year the New Plymouth carpenter had become addicted.

"Every 10 minutes or quarter of an hour I would be off for a cone, even at work - I was going through a bag a day," he said.

"It's way more addictive than pot ... the worst thing I would do was I would come home and have a cone before tea, I would have a cone after tea, another before doing the dishes and about four or five more during the night. It's horrible s***."

He finally admitted his dependency problem to his employer last month.

"They kind of knew but they have been really supportive," Mr Chammey said.

He has been clean for two weeks now.

"I'm actually a lot better now. I just found the first 72 hours were like hell, mood swings and stuff, and I was basically coming home and taking it out on my family.

"This s*** is evil and children can get their hands on it from bloody dairies ... I can't say it enough that it has to come off the shelves."

- NZ Herald

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