Multiple collapses at Christmas market after group take 'dangerous Black Mamba drug'

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Birmingham Christmas Market (Rex)
Birmingham Christmas Market (Rex)

Several people were taken to hospital after they collapsed after taking drugs at a German-style Christmas market in Birmingham.

The group are believed to have taken a substance known as Black Mamba at the Frankfurt market in the West Midlands city.

Paramedic Mike Duggan, who organises the city centre treatment unit, tweeted: “Non-stop already. Multiple collapses at the German Market due to people taking Black Mamba, a ‘new psychoactive substance.’”

The drug is a synthetic cannabinoid, which has been developed to act like the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis, THC.

It was made illegal in February 2013 and is now classified as a Class B drug.

Experts have warned that the drug is far more harmful than cannabis because of the high strength of its compounds.

Mr Duggan later added: “Can honestly say after all these years I think that was the worst shift I’ve ever worked. It was stupidly busy and relentless.”

It was reported last year that the drug, often called spice, has become the substance of choice in several prisons across the UK.

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The problem was said be particularly pronounced at Altcourse, a privately run prison in Liverpool.

In a report, HM Inspectorate of Prisons linked 38 serious assaults in four months before the inspection to the drugs.

“Gang issues and the availability of drugs, particularly new psychoactive substances (so-called ‘legal highs’ such as ‘Spice’ and ‘Black Mamba’), were a significant factor in much of the violence, and these had also been the cause of regular hospital admissions.”

A former prisoner at HMP Hewell near Redditch in Worcestershire told the Sunday Mercury that the drug is easily smuggled in by visitors.

“I’ve seen people go absolutely psychotic and violent after taking a smoke of Black Mamba,” he said.

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