A Wellington GP says nine synthetic cannabis-related deaths this month, suggests drug addiction and abuse is getting worse.
The latest victim is a 31-year-old woman from Kelston in Auckland, who Police say may have been smoking synthetic cannabis before she died on last Friday.
Dr. Alvin Mitikulena, who runs the Kilbirnie Medical Centre in Wellington, says doctors are seeing more patients with drug-related issues.
"These cases that have occurred in the last month, highlight that there is an underbelly of drug misuse and abuse," he says. "What we're seeing and hearing on the news is really just the tip of the iceberg.
"The problem is actually a lot worse than what we hear. We see increasing rates of addiction and [drug] abuse."
Nine people have died so far this month in Auckland, related to the use of synthetic cannabis, which has prompted the Chief Coroner and Police to issue a public warning about the drug.