Monkey powder, the cheap and powerful medicine

It has led people to defeat buildings, bite others and get into the homes of strangers.

Now the police say it is only a matter of time before someone dies as a result of "monkey dust", a synthetic drug that is gaining popularity in the West Lowlands region, in England.

"At night I do not go outside, because people who use drugs often go out," says Molly Lawton, a 19-year-old cook from the city of Stoke, Staffordshire, United Kingdom, against the BBC.

"You see someone who consumes 'monkey dust', wiggling his arms, screaming and screaming. [Por la noche] that made me terrified".

"Apostle" is a class B drug – a classification given by the British parliament, which includes amphetamines, barbiturates, codeine, marijuana, cathinones and synthetic cannabinoids – which have been in circulation for several years.

But now Stoke's emergency services are afraid that their use is becoming an epidemic.

The drug prevents consumers from feeling pain and hallucinations, which makes them very unpredictable.

It is also distinguished because their effects can take days.

Cheap medicine

The police have had to deal with cases in which people threw themselves into traffic and jumped out of buildings.

Nobody has died so far in an incident directly related to the consumption of "monkey dust", but there is concern that it is only a matter of time.

For sale for US $ 2.5 bag, it is said that the "monkey powder" It is very popular among the homeless community.

A man who calls himself Smithy has consumed him for a year.

Smithy, 31, has ten problems with sleeping and says that this is true one of the most powerful medications he has tried.

"I hate the fact that I like it. I hate it every time I use it, but I still do it", he says in conversation with the BBC.

"It is everywhere, there are many people who consume it."

"The worst we have seen"

Jeff Moore, Chief of Staffordshire, says they have received in the last three months 950 calls related to the drug.

"We often see paranoia: examples of people jumping in traffic, climbing bridges and tall buildings, entering people's houses," he explains.

"From the point of view of drugs, this is the worst we have seen, not only because of the use of the medicine itself, but also because it endangers the safety of others."

Moore adds that it is difficult for agents to deal with them because consumers of the drug are unpredictable, and advocates a broader view of the social and public health problems that contribute to their consumption.

"It is not just a group of people who are homeless and in the city," he adds There are people of different origins and ages who also consume it.

"People who hide weapons"

Darren Murinas, a rehabilitated drug dealer who works with the Expert Citizens group, says he lived with three people who used the drug.

"These guys used crack and heroin, but they stopped it for the price," he says.

On one occasion, he explains, one of his roommates thought that there was someone under the floor of the apartment who accompanied him, and he did not sleep for days.

"I have seen how it induces psychotic episodes: people who hide weapons because they are afraid," he adds.

Murinas says that he knows a person who is addicted to the medicine and who is "constantly in hospital" & # 39; and another who has suffered a serious brain trauma.

"We have to start registering this problem so that we can get the data," he says.

"And we have to look at it from the point of view of mental health, not just from the police."

The UK Department of Home Affairs said its drug strategy "establishes a balanced approach that brings together police, health, community and global partners to fight illicit drug trafficking, protect the most vulnerable and help people who suffer from drug addiction and their lives. change. "

Among the residents of the center of Stoke, many have seen the most obvious effects of the drug.

Ari, a guard, says he is causing problems for companies in the area.

Charlie, an 18-year-old student who has tried the drug several times and whose last name is not revealed, claims he will never take it again.

"I felt weird," he explains, pointing out the effects. "I felt that when I first took it as a zombie, it's not smart to consume it."

He says that efforts have been made to educate students about the dangers of the drug at their university, because the city becomes more aware of its effects.

For Molly the concern is that the situation will get worse instead of better.

"There is a lot [polvo de mono]because traffickers sell it for only $ 2,5 per bag"he emphasizes.

"Because it is so cheap, more people will consume it all over Stoke."

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