IT HAS been called the zombie drug.
Disturbing new pictures from Manchester’s civic centre show how the synthetic cannabinoid – known on the streets as spice – is turning the city into what the local paper, the Manchester Evening News, has termed a “dystopian nightmare”.
Manchester police undertook a blitz on the drug in the city centre last weekend, arresting nearly 60 people and issuing 48-hour dispersal notices to countless more.
Shocking pictures taken by The Sunshow the full impact the highly addictive drug has on users, with some pictured passed out in public places, sleeping against bins and telephone boxes, and others covered in their own vomit.
The sometimes fatal manufactured substance can elicit a zombie-like state in users. It can cause hallucinations, psychosis, muscle weakness and paranoia.
The Guardian reports there has been a surge in use of the drug in Manchester in recent times, particularly in the main shopping and transport hub of the city centre.
Compared to other illicit substances, it can also be obtained relatively cheaply, at around A$8 for half a gram, and magnifies the high of natural cannabis.
It is as highly addictive as opioids.
Manchester’s police commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “The police have had some people who have gone through very, very near death experiences, where they’ve essentially been dead and have been brought around” reported The Sun.
“Spice is phenomenally cheap and it’s constantly changing.
“The spice we see today isn’t the spice we’ll see tomorrow.”
NSW Drug Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Tony Cooke, said police had seen little spice usage in recent times, but, that those who did use it had frightening reactions.
“We have seen synthetic drugs result in reckless, risky behaviours, such as running into traffic and people having psychotic crises,” he said.
“That’s not to mention the countless people who have experienced adverse reactions, including some who have died, after taking different synthetic drugs.
“They are manufactured and sold by the same criminals who make and sell ice or whatever it is they can sell to make a dollar.
“Anyone who takes them is gambling with their health and wellbeing and, ultimately, putting their life at risk.”
Spice is manufactured in clandestine laboratories in the same way the more prevalent methamphetamine, or ice, is.
Chemicals, often used as plant or animal killers, are mixed with acetone, then sprayed on dried, readily available green herbs, before being sold.
SOURCE: newsnow worldnews