In cities across the UK, there are fears that former ‘legal’ high Spice, or Black Mamba as it is also known, is becoming a huge problem for many individuals. Some have described the problem as a ‘zombie epidemic’ as those who use the drug are often seen slumped over or shuffling about, apparently so out of it that they do not even know who or where they are.
With this drug being sold by dealers for far less than the cost of other illegal drugs such as heroin, it is no surprise that so many drug users find it an attractive option. However, health officials and emergency services personnel are struggling to cope with so many incidences of those affected by it. In response to this, the Burton Mail recently published an article offering helpful advice for those who come across individuals using the drug.
The founder of Burton Addiction Centre, Noreen Oliver, has advised the public not to approach anyone under the influence of the drug but said that if individuals appear to be suffering a seizure, an ambulance should be called immediately.
Spice is a synthetic cannabinoid made to mimic the effects of cannabis. However, this drug is much more potent than ‘natural’ cannabis. In fact, it is said that just one joint of Spice is similar to smoking around one hundred cannabis joints.
The drug is manufactured easily and cheaply by dealers, and since the coming into law of the Psychoactive Substance Act in May 2016, the substance has become much more powerful as sales of it have moved underground. It is a popular substance among homeless addicts, and it has been linked to a number of deaths in recent months. There have been reports suggesting that more than ninety-five per cent of the homeless in Manchester are hooked on Spice, with many of them struggling with psychosis as a consequence.
Spice users often overheat, and some may suffer severe pains in their chests. Others will appear to be unconscious, in a zombie-like state, while others will vomit. An official leaflet has outlined what to do in the event that you come across someone under the influence of Spice.
Individuals are advised to place a cool, damp cloth on the forehead of anyone who is overheating due to Spice abuse. They are also encouraged to provide water to the individual, and if no improvement is seen in five minutes, an ambulance should be called. An ambulance should also be called if the person is struggling to breathe or suffering from chest pains.
It may be the case that the individual is having a psychotic episode or is hallucinating. If this happens, it is advisable to try to make the person safe by taking them to a calm and quiet environment where you can talk to them.
Above all, it is crucial to keep yourself safe when trying to help someone under the influence of Spice. If the individual is becoming aggressive or agitated, it may be wiser to call emergency services so that experienced paramedics can effectively deal with the situation.
Spice was a ‘legal’ substance until May 2016 when it was banned by the Psychoactive Substances Act. It was sold as ‘not fit for human consumption’ in head shops and online, but that did not stop many youngsters from taking the substance to get high. As a result, there are many people still addicted to the substance.
If you need help for a Spice addiction, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at Primrose Lodge. We offer excellent programmes of care for all types of addiction, including former ‘legal high’ addiction. For more information on our service, contact us today.
Source: (The Burton Mail) Here is what you can do if you know someone has taken Spice