Grad pupils A&E drugs nightmare

By david looby

Published 25/08/2015 | 00:00

Bonzai - a dangerous synthetic drug, also called the poor man's heroin.
Bonzai - a dangerous synthetic drug, also called the poor man's heroin.

GRAD nights have for time immemorial been associated with teenage drinking, but this year several County Wexford grad students ended up hospitalised having experimented with synthetic or 'head shop' drugs.

A source at Wexford General Hospital said several students from the New Ross area were admitted to hospital after smoking Bonzai, which is readily available in New Ross, while the drug Blow, formerly known as Mephedrone, was ingested.

'We had cases from New Ross with patients who had severe heart palpitations and severe anxiety having taken Bonzai and Blow synthetic drugs. They were kept in for observation and discharged. These admissions occurred in conjunction with Debs functions.'

Bonzai refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures which produce experiences similar to marijuana and heroin. These drugs were marketed as safe when head shops were opened in the county and many people first got hooked on them during the period in which the shops were open, from the late 1990s to 2010 when the Psychoactive Substances Bill was passed into law and the seven head shops in County Wexford were closed. The drugs are sold under many names and are bought online and shipped directly to user's homes.

After head shop drugs were banned, drug dealers altered their chemical composition slightly, making them stronger. Over years of repeating this process it is estimated that the strength of synthetic cannabis today is 30 times what it was five years ago.

Full investigation into drug use in County Wexford in next week's edition.

Wexford People

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