Spice addiction on the increase



Spice stimulants on sale in a London shop

An epidemic of Spice drug use in Manchester is putting pressure on public services, according to police.

The force said there were 58 Spice-related incidents in the city centre over the weekend, resulting in eight arrests.

The substance, also known as synthetic cannabis, was banned a year ago, along with any drugs classed as new psychoactive substances.

But one former user says he thinks the problem has “got worse” since then.

BBC Advice has more help and information if you are worried about drugs.

Legal high K2

Matt admits to being “incredibly addicted” to Spice when it was still legal.

“It was cheap so you could do it wherever you wanted,” he tells Newsbeat.

“It was easily accessible, you could go to a shop and say ‘I want this’ and they’d give it to you.

“I think it’s got worse [now] because people are addicted to it.

“There’s a market there for drug dealers to sell it.”

Legal highs

Effects of the drug can be extreme, causing hallucinations, psychosis, muscle weakness and paranoia.

Videos of users left twitching while standing up or slumped against walls and bins have gone viral in the last week.

“In my opinion, it’s worse than heroin, crack [cocaine], all of that,” says Matt.

“The first time I smoked it, it blew my head off.

“When I was smoking it, it would make me brain-dead for about half an hour.”

Despite his description of the addiction, Matt says he managed to give up Spice when he wanted to.

“When I woke up my head just didn’t feel right – it felt crooked so I just stopped.”

He’s now been off it for more than a year and says he feels “absolutely amazing” but has a message for those taking advantage of addicts.

“Stop selling it, you’re causing a massive problem and ruining lives.”


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