Sugar and Spice and all the things…not so nice!

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust have overseen a sustained rise in hospital admissions through artificial cannabis misuse, in 2018.

Spice can alter the mind through Hallucinations, Paranoia and extreme cases of Anxiety. Photo: James Ardley

This comes three years after Lincoln became the first city in the UK, to ban the consumption of ‘legal highs’ in public spaces.

Spice, Black Mamba, Ace of Spades: are all common names for synthetic cannabinoids that have left Lincoln in the midst of anti-social problems.

Under the vague guideline of ‘new psychoactive substances’ (NPS), these drugs try and replicate the effects associated with Cannabis – only to leave the user in a “zombie-like” state.

It is a sight that is still rife in the city centre, despite a Home Office Review stating that these substances are no longer available behind the counter. Street Dealers are now the main distributor and it’s this concealed activity that poses serious difficulties, for Lincolnshire’s authorities. Last August a five-day operation by Lincolnshire police, resulted in seven being arrested on drugs supply offences in relation to synthetic cannabinoids.

Ambulances have become a regular occurrence in responses to Spice. Photo: James Ardley

This constant supply on the streets, has meant that United Lincolnshire Hospitals have overseen an increased number of hospital admissions.

From January to October of this year, the number of people admitted fluctuated with August being a highly critical month with nine being admitted.

 

 

It is a worrying statistic and it demonstrates the situation in Lincoln, as it is clearly visible. By the end of July, Lincolnshire Police had already made 139 drug-related arrests in the city centre with a large proportion of these connected to Spice.

Sam Parker, Senior Communications officer of Lincolnshire Police, said this in response to their tackling of Spice in the city centre.

“Earlier this year (August), we ran a week-long scheme which was called Operation Argentina and this along with the patrols from our dedicated city centre Avita team, helped to build up a clear picture of what we were dealing with”.

“Over that week we managed to seize drugs from a couple supplying Mamba into the city, to the extent that we’d recovered over 6,600 examples of this particular street drug”.

When asked if the Lincolnshire Police work closely with the NHS and the city council, he said: “We look to the outreach teams and support these agencies can offer as an alternative to arrests, in some cases”.

The City Council approved an Intervention team back in July, at a cost of £61,000 over a 12 year period.

They are yet to comment on the sensitive topic but have stated that this ‘intervention team’ are part of the wider strategy that the authorities here, are trying to implement.

Anyone with any information about drugs-possession, production or supply-should call Lincolnshire Police on 101.

For more information about the effects and the damage caused by Spice, visit https://www.talktofrank.com/

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