POLICE are warning Swindon drug users it is only a matter of time before someone is killed from taking a rogue batch of substances.
If follows a number of reports in the town that cocaine may be being cut with other dangerous substances, including mephedrone.
The side effects of mephedrone are not fully understood because it is an emerging drug.
But the drug is known to be a strong and hazardous stimulant in the form of a white powder and can become addictive.
It can also lead to long-term sleep deprivation, resulting in mental and physical health problems, including hallucinations, extreme anxiety and significant damage to the heart.
Sgt Scott Hargreave, the head of the dedicated drugs team based at Gablecross Police Station, said people are putting their lives at risk.
“We’ve had a number of reports of mephedrone in Swindon but we haven’t actually seized any yet,” he said.
“I think what this does highlight is that people don’t really know what they are taking and pumping into their bodies.
“It’s a matter of time before there is a fatality.
“If you like, you have the genuine cocaine dealers and there are those fast buck dealers that mix their drugs.
“That’s what people should look out for – it’s putting them at risk of liver and heart failure.”
The Swindon Community Safety Partnership is also warning of the drug dangers.
Matthew Hibbert, the strategic development manager for substance misuse for the Community Safety Partnership, said: “Cocaine is a dangerous substance, but when cut with other stimulants, such as mephedrone or toxic drug additives, such as levamisole, it is extremely hazardous for users.
“This is particularly the case when it’s mixed with alcohol.
“Buying drugs is a dangerous activity and drug users need to be aware that they may not be buying cocaine, but could unknowingly be taking a very strong, harmful substance.
“This is something they’re not used to.”
December 4, 2009