Street like something out of 'zombie film' as toxic drug that destroys lives makes comeback

There are serious concerns after a city centre appeared as something out of a 'zombie film' as a toxic street drug that destroys lives is making a comeback, experts warn.

One reporter saw a woman in a hauntingly familiar pose outside a department store where she is bent as if she's trying to pick something up. She is almost touching her toes before she collapses to the ground, and bystanders call the police for help.

The shocking scene is eerily reminiscent of another time around 2017 that was leaving vulnerable people frozen in 'zombie-like' states across the city centre from synthetic cannabinoids better known better as spice.

Among the people living on the streets and people that help them there is a stark concern that some desperate, vulnerable people may be turning back to the drug reports the MEN.

Just minutes down the road the reporter saw a man in a similar state slumped on the steps of a hotel with his head resting in his folded arms, which are on his knees. He doesn't move a muscle for several minutes.

Two guests at the hotel drag their suitcases down the steps, pulling them sideways to avoid hitting the man. They take a quick, concerned glance back at him before going on their way.

Experts are monitoring drug trends amongst the vulnerable people who gather in the city centre as warmer weather brings more out onto the streets.

But this week, several rough sleepers, as well senior figures at homeless charities, told our sister publication that Spice may be making a comeback - particularly after police shut down 'Counterfeit Street' which had become a supply hub for many of the other favoured street drugs.

Yvonne Hope, CEO of the homeless charity Barnabus Manchester is among experts on street trends observing the problem.

She said: “So we had a real, really nice long break from Spice and then it came back last year and it was the zombie Spice that we'd seen prior to the pandemic, which leaves people frozen.

"We've heard about people being assaulted when they have taken it. I think it's important to say it's not just people who are street homeless taking this.

“There are people coming into the city centre specifically to get their hands on it and take it. The police are obviously on that with all the work they’re doing in Piccadilly Gardens, around the drug dealers.

“We think over the pandemic people based in China couldn’t get their drugs over here. But I don’t know if there are people who are making stuff here now because it’s so prevalent.

“It's really out there, it’s fairly cheap. I'd say at the moment, most of the people we know are using crack rather than Spice, but crack, as you know, can have a very similar effect. You just don't know what people are taking."

She continued: “I'm absolutely heartbroken. It was last year when we realised it was back because it is very hard to come off, it is highly addictive and there isn't any other way of coming off other than going cold turkey.

"It’s not like an opiate where you could use a substitute and then reduce, there's nothing you can do, it’s sheer willpower to come off that stuff."

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