West Coast young people are being urged to steer clear of a potentially lethal new recreational drug similar to amphetamine.
West Coast District Health Board alcohol and drugs service co-ordinator Dr Margaret Adams said she had had several reports of some opiate-based party pills being sold to teenagers and young people in Westport and Greymouth.
The pills were a potentially lethal cocktail and could be extremely addictive.
She said someone had acquired a substantial amount of 5mg methadone tablets and crushed them up, mixed them with poisonous strychnine and other ingredients, and was now selling them on the street.
Strychnine can cause muscular convulsions and death.
Methadone is a "class b" drug and used to treat heroin addicts and has been described as liquid handcuffs because of its highly addictive nature.
Dr Adams said someone could become dependent on the new drugs as they were opioid-based.
Greymouth Detective Sergeant Andy Oliver said police would be interested in getting any information on the drug and who was selling it.
He said "party pill" was a generic term but something that was opioid based was more than a party pill.
Mr Oliver said he would not be surprised if the person reporting to the DHB had their wires crossed because there had not yet been any casualties.
He said police intelligence had been told about the pills some weeks ago but none had turned up.
- NZPA and NZHERALD STAFF