There has been a visible rise in the number of people openly taking drugs in Lincoln city centre, many of whom putting themselves in dangerous positions, so what should you do if you spot someone on so-called spice?
Yesterday, The Lincolnite posted a controversial video of users taking drugs in an alcove on Clasketgate and it sparked a debate on how to solve the city’s drug problem.
Due to the rise in drug taking, it seems to be difficult to walk around Lincoln without seeing someone who is under the influence of New Psychoactive Substances (strains of these include drugs like spice and Mamba).
Though many services and volunteers work hard in the city to help vulnerable people and addicts, it can be a dangerous and unpredictable environment.
So what are you supposed to do if you spot someone on spice? We contacted the police and ambulance service for some advice.
‘Only approach if you feel safe’
East Midlands Ambulance Service said people should only approach a drug user if they are in no danger and feel safe to do so.
Paramedic and ambulance manager, Brian Jaffrey said: “Legal high drugs are dangerous and often contain harmful chemicals which can put lives at risk.
“When high on synthetics, symptoms can include unconsciousness and slurred speech, all of which mimic someone who is in a life-threatening condition.
“Users are risking their own lives due to the harmful chemicals but are also at risk of endangering the lives of others by taking a crew away from someone who really needs them.
“If a member of the public has concern for a person’s safety, they should always call 999. Only approach the person if you are in no danger and feel safe to do so.
“Our 999 call handler will guide you through questions to assess whether they are breathing or require immediate help, stay calm and listen carefully.
“We are urging the public to keep safe and consider the consequences of taking dangerous drugs.
“Anyone who has information regarding the illegal supply of psychoactive substances can call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”
Report it to us, say police
Lincolnshire police told The Lincolnite that members of the public that see someone openly taking drugs to report it to the police.
Inspector Claire Hime, from Lincolnshire Police, said: “Substances often referred to as ‘spice’ are Class B drugs which are illegal to possess and supply.
“Members of the public who see individuals using illegal substances are encouraged to report it to the police.”
What is spice?
The drug has a similar appearance to tobacco or marijuana, and is sold under hundreds of different names like ‘Mamba’, ‘Scooby Snax’ and ‘Mojo’.
When the user is high on synthetics, symptoms can include unconsciousness and slurred speech, which mimic those symptoms of someone who is in a life-threatening condition.
Lincoln made history in three years ago when it became the first city in the UK to ban the consumption of ‘legal highs’ and alcohol in public spaces.
Regardless, the number of drug users in the city has risen visibly in recent months.
Between April and June this year alone, the council received 243 calls for services relating to begging, rough sleeping and addiction-related anti-social behaviour.
Anyone who has information regarding the illegal supply of psychoactive substances can call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.