New Zealand: Extremely rare’ LSD death leads to calls to get drugs tested

A coroner is warning the public to have any drugs tested following the death of a young Auckland man who died from “complications” of LSD-use.

Joshua Benjamin, 20, died in November 2021, after having an “unusually severe reaction” to the drug, coroner Alison Mills has found.

Mills said this could happen with the mixing of other psychoactive drugs and while it was not found in his system, it was “possible” he had a novel synthetic drug in his system that could not be tested for.

The findings said Benjamin had taken four tabs of LSD while out with his friends one night, and began struggling to speak. His friends thought he was having a bad trip and took him home.

He was found in an “agitated state” by his parents and was sweating heavily – an ambulance was called after he had what looked like a seizure and became unconscious.

Benjamin was recorded as having a temperature of 41 degrees celsius, a normal body temperature is about 37 degrees celsius.

He was taken to North Shore Hospital, but died after going into cardiac arrest for a second time.

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