Doctors have joined the chorus of critics calling for a ban on the synthetic cannabis Kronic as details emerge of a WA user who ended up at an emergency department with a potentially deadly condition.
The young man was admitted to Royal Perth Hospital this week with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, an extremely fast heartbeat that can be fatal if other cardiac disorders are present.
The condition generally causes dizziness, fainting, chest tightness and anxiety. In some extreme and persistent cases, pacemakers are needed to override tachycardia.
Sources claimed the patient was in his early 20s, did not have a pre-existing heart condition and had not used Kronic in conjunction with any other drug.
It is understood the man, who has since been released, was one of several Kronic users to end up in a hospital emergency department. The hospital did not comment, saying it would not discuss individual patients.
The State Government has failed to decide whether to ban Kronic, which sells over the counter in Perth, since its popularity was exposed by The West Australian six weeks ago.
The Australian Medical Association yesterday called on the State Government to immediately ban the "powerful and potentially very dangerous drugs".
The AMA said synthetic drugs could cause severe paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks, poor work practices and concentration, high heart rates and agitation.
"We call on the State Government to immediately ban the sale and the distribution of them before too many people are encouraged to try them - even people who would not normally use drugs," AMA State president David Mountain said.
The State Government laboratory, ChemCentre, has told a Budget estimates committee that a Kronic culture had developed at some mine sites, with up to 30 per cent of the samples at some sites returning a positive test.
ChemCentre revealed that dozens of other synthetic drugs which have already hit the streets in the US, Britain and Asia could be on their way to Perth. It is seeking to create technology capable of detecting the new compounds.
It emerged yesterday that Tasmanian police were lobbying their State Government to ban Kronic.