Police officers have been out in force in Manchester City Centre in the UK today after more than 30 police interventions had to be made yesterday. The cause of this huge turnout is due the synthetic drug Spice leaving users, who are usually homeless, in a catatonic, zombie like state, causing them to literally freeze like statues.
The drug, originally a “legal high” is a synthetic type of cannabis however, after increasing hospitalizations it was reclassified as a category A drug. Drug Dealers and Pushers brazenly walk the streets selling this potent, chemically imbalanced drug preying on the young and impressionable and the homeless looking for a fix.
Spice is currently a fraction of the price of Heroin and is now the go to drug for addicts, also it is deemed ‘safer’ due to the fact it is smoked, and not injected, illuminating the chance of contracting HIV or Hepatitis from contaminated needles.
The substance is odourless and colourless, and as such, people openly roll up cigarettes and except for the obvious effects, someone taking it could be seen as just someone simply enjoying a cigarette. The police are also finding that newer and much more potent strains are being concocted constantly, and as the drug is so chemically imbalanced and essentially a cocktail there is no antidote as the counter drugs could interact with different chemicals in the mix.
It raises the question though, why are the Spice addicts being given priority treatment over the homeless who are clean and sober? Obviously there is a duty of care to the general public, especially to try and stem the flow of the addicts and the potential of new addicts, but also, with the cold weather and the paralyzed state which people are finding themselves, their chances of hypothermia and pneumonia are greatly increased, which could spread like the plague causing a huge epidemic putting the already overstretched UK National Health Service under even more undue stress.
There is also the very real chance that people will die, either from the overdose, or from complications due to the cold. This again, is a very real and frightening prospect, and the city does not want to have dead bodies strewn around like something from the 15th century.
The rise and rise in the popularity of Spice is unfortunately going to lead to homeless on homeless crime and could even see a rise in gangs of homeless people, not to mention the already huge problem of gang crime flooding the city centre from places like Hulme, Moss Side, Salford and Cheetham Hill.
Charities are trying to work out how to offer help, but unfortunately, Spice seems to be more addictive than Heroin and once you are in its clutches there is very little chance of releasing yourself. The only words of advice that Greater Manchester Police, GMP, can give is not to give anything to the homeless, for the likelihood of them either selling it to buy spice, or making the most of a free handout to save up their money for more Spice is pretty much guaranteed.