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Hero image for Syn City - New Zealand's Deadly Synthetic Drugs Epidemic

Syn City - New Zealand's Deadly Synthetic Drugs Epidemic

Web (Full Length Episode) – 2018

In 2013 the Psychoactive Substances Act became law in Aotearoa, effectively outlawing synthetic cannabinoids. This Vice documentary looks at how they continue to affect West Auckland — where people are still addicted, but the drugs are now on the black market. Tammara shares her experiences of trying to get clean, and dealing with treatment services. Her father rues the impact of synthetics on her life, and emergency responders add their views. Meanwhile ex user Trey talks about those he’s lost. In 2017 deaths linked to synthetic drug use showed a major spike in New Zealand.

I used to mock the s**t out of them ... "Just smoke the real s**t bro ... that s**t's just gonna f*** up your brain." This s**t was actually way cheaper than weed, and had much more of an effect, so that's how I got into smoking it.
– Tammara, on how she started using synthetic drugs

Key Cast & Crew

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James Borrowdale

Associate Producer

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David Benge

Executive Producer

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Ursula Grace Williams


Generic Profile image for Greg Cooper

Greg Cooper

Post-Production Manager

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Aastha Auplish

Production Coordinator

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Gareth Moon


See all 13 credits

Produced by

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Logo for VICE