Fears over 'addictive' new drug
A HIGHLY addictive drug that has already swept across America will hit the streets of Suffolk within two years, an expert has warned. Crystal methamphetamine, which affects the central nervous system, can leave long-term users with irreversible damage to the heart, liver, kidney and lungs, and in some cases can even lead to death.
A HIGHLY addictive drug that has already swept across America will hit the streets of Suffolk within two years, an expert has warned.
Crystal methamphetamine, which affects the central nervous system, can leave long-term users with irreversible damage to the heart, liver, kidney and lungs, and in some cases can even lead to death.
Last night, Chip Somers, of the Bury St Edmunds based rehabilitation centre Focus 12, said although there was no evidence to suggest the drug was prolific in the region, he believed it was only a matter of time before it increased in popularity.
The drug - more commonly known as crystal meths, glass or ice - is a form of methamphetamine hydrochloride, and comes in clear, chunky crystals which can be inhaled or smoked.
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It is a chemical variation of amphetamine, which was originally marketed as Benzedrine in the UK in the 1930s for use in suppressing appetite and preventing narcolepsy, but was later banned after its addictive and harmful effects became apparent.
“There is no evidence of a wave or epidemic at all, and so far I have only seen a couple of users coming to see us,” he said.
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“But I have no doubt that in a couple of years more and more people will come forward with problems arising from using the drug.”
Crystal meths is made from two highly volatile chemicals and quickly makes users psychologically dependent due to its stimulating properties, which can leave people with feelings of euphoria and invincibility, allowing them to overcome fears and inhibitions.
But the drug can also cause irritability, insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, and increased aggression, as well as the onset of much more serious side-ffects when taken in high doses.
It is thought to have first become popular in poor areas of rural North America, usually among young people who did not have access to other street drugs, but has since become fashionable on the dance and rave scene.
“There has been a big problem with the drug in the United States, and I am sure it will work its way across to the UK just like crack cocaine did,” said Mr Somers.
“But crystal meths is significantly cheaper than crack, so it will probably be more popular.
“Unfortunately, the use of illegal substances are part of society, and there is always someone trying to develop the latest drug craze.
“Although crystal meths is not a big problem at the moment, common sense tells us we need to be aware of its presence, as well as any other drug that might become popular in the future.”