POLICE have seized a quantity of what's thought to be 'mephadrone' - a legal high - openly on sale at business premises in the town.
It's understood the material was taken from premises at William Street for further forensic tests.
Mephadrone is known in street slang as Plant Food, Mugabe, Meow, Meph, Magic or Bath Salts.
It is one of the so-called 'legal highs' and is a psychoactive drug and research chemical of the phenethylamine, amphetamine and cathinine chemical classes.
The drug has been linked to a death in Sweden and, the 'MAIL' understands, may have been a factor in a recent death of a young man in the town.
It is most commonly sold as a white powder or crystal form or in capsules containing the powder. It can also be found in pill form.
Drug users, some as young as 14, have turned to what's known as 'legal highs' in their quest for ever more extreme 'entertainment'.
One source told the 'MAIL': "It's becoming a big thing with young people and those old enough to know better.
"Kids as young as 14 are using it, but a wide age range are taking it. They can get it cheap and they can order it over the internet."
The drug has often been compared to Ecstasy for its effects and predominantly stimulant qualities.
Its current street price, according to our sources, is around £25 a gramme - compared to £50 for a gramme of cocaine.
Reported side effects include the narrowing of blood vessels. Reports of addiction and problematic use have also emerged.
For legislators the big problem is finding a way of making it illegal as changes to the ingredients could render the law powerless.
However, our sources also pointed out harder, illegal drugs are also making a comeback - particularly cocaine.
In terms of Ecstacy the current street price is £2.50 a tablet but users are putting their lives very much in the hands of the dealers with the drug cut with all sorts of other chemicals - including rat poison.
Local police commander Chief Inspector Jason Murphy said: "We have been aware of this product circulating around Craigavon for several weeks.
"It has all the characteristics of controlled drugs and until forensic tests prove otherwise, we will continue to conduct searches for it.
"The public have absolutely no idea what is contained within this concoction and I would urge people not to use it. All drugs are dangerous, especially substances like this which are untested.
"If it was safe, all the shops would be openly selling it.
November 12, 2009
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