33-YEAR-OLD man has died and another man remains in critical condition after suspected poisoning from synthetic cannabis in Mackay on Tuesday.
Detective Acting Inspector Sam Bliss said police were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death as well as the earlier admission of a 41-year-old man in a critical condition to Mackay Base Hosptial.
Queensland Police and health officials are concerned that the sudden death follows a spate of recent incidents in the area with possible links to the use of synthetic cannabis.
In a statement, Detective Acting Inspector Bliss warned that while these materials are readily available online and in suburban shops, they’re neither legal nor safe.
“The chemical compounds found in these drugs are dangerous and are not herbal or natural alternatives to ‘real drugs’. They contain synthetic compounds which are toxic and extremely dangerous,” he said.
Dr David Farlow of the Mackay Base Hospital confirmed they have seen an increase in admissions surrounding synthetic drug use at the hospital.
“People need to be cautious about consuming these products where the ingredients are unknown,” Dr Farlow said.
“These drugs pose a major risk to an individual’s physical and mental health and the community.”
In August last year a Sunday-Mail special investigation confirmed at least six recent cases in North Queensland alone were under investigation by the Queensland Coroner – part of a lucrative illicit black market trade of synthetic drugs throughout the state.