High Drug Use Predicted for Sydney NYE

Warnings say New Year's Eve could set record for illicit drug and alcohol use

The warning has gone out in Australia. Illicit drug and alcohol use on New Year's Eve is expected to surpass anything Sydney has experienced, with authorities preparing for a "potential nightmare", drug researchers warn.

A police committee dealing with New Year's Eve issues has identified illicit drugs as a major concern and is "currently preparing a strategy to deal with [it]", a police spokeswoman tells the Sydney Morning Herald.

A spokesperson for the Australia's Drug and Research Center says New Year's Eve is usually a time for drug experimentation, people could feel added pressure "to do something super special for the millennium". The Center reported says there are already "an awful lot of party drugs around" and dealers may be preparing for a New Year's Eve push. Big shipments were expected to arrive from overseas just before New Year according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Ecstasy, LSD and amphetamines would be the most popular New Year's party drugs among young people and were dangerous mixed or with alcohol says the Center's spokesperson. The greatest concern reportedly is experimentation with new, lesser-known and possibly hazardous drugs on the market such as special K and GBH.

Sydney area hospitals are reportedly making preparations for extra beds and extra staff on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. One hospital spokesman says New Year's always sees an "an enormous number of people" mixing alcohol with some other drug and winding up in the hospital.

DATE: 9/28/99

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