There are fears that “super spice” drug “monkey dust” could make its way to Lincoln after Staffordshire Police reported dealing with 10 incidents every day — nearly one thousand in the past three months alone.

The drug is said to leave users feeling as strong as the Incredible Hulk and unable to feel pain. It leaves users suffering from extreme paranoia that causes them to become violent, agitated and has even been linked to horrific face eating attacks in America.

Sometimes known as ‘bath salts’ or ‘MDPV’, the synthetic drug has led to warning of a potential health crisis within the West Midlands, just over the border.

Chief Superintendent Moore, Staffordshire Police, said: “The drug is highly addictive and highly unpredictable, meaning emergency services can often struggle to provide the appropriate treatment to those under the influence.

“Every user acts differently, displaying behaviour that is volatile and dangerous to both the user and emergency services personnel responding.”

Monkey dust in Lincoln

Sights like this have become a common sight in Lincoln. Will monkey dust make things worse?

Lincoln has receive a lot of media attention for its ongoing problem with so-called ‘spice’ – A topic that has been covered in-depth here at The Lincolnite.

Spice mimics the effects on cannabis, leaving its users comatose. Monkey Dust on the other hand is a stimulant similar to cocaine that causes hyperactive behaviour.

It is a cheap alternative to more well-known drugs – costing just £10 for a gram and as a result it’s quickly becoming a popular choice for addicts.

Although East Midlands Ambulance Service and Lincolnshire Police say they have had no problems so far, Lincoln’s reputation as a ‘legal high’ hotspot means it’s only a matter of time.

A bag of monkey dust fetches a street value of around £10-£15. Photo: FRANK

At their office in Washingbrough, Co-Founders of Library Design Studio James Cann and Lizzie Mercer are reinventing one of the nation’s most popular spirits.

Their botanical vodka – ExLibris – takes gin and removes elements from it, creating a unique spirit halfway between gin and vodka.

“Every gin buff will tell you that gin is just vodka with juniper berries and botanicals. We work the other way around,” explained James. “We’ve taken our vodka and just put botanicals in it – without the juniper berry.

“Rather than being a stereotypical potato vodka, we’re made out of grains and we use a pot still.

“We are the middle line between vodka and gin.”

Lizzie Mercer (left) and James Cann (right) are producing their unique spirit in Lincoln.

The drink is described as having a fresh crisp citrus flavour with hints of leafy greener flavours and culinary spices beneath it.

The pair worked in London designing packaging for well known alcohol brands before deciding to set-up shop in a Washingborough HQ, where they are trying to challenge the gin-bubble for themselves.

Lizzie Mercer said: “Having got in contact with people and finding out who the best people to work with were we discovered they were all living and working in Lincolnshire.

“We decided that the best thing to do would be to move and be with the people that are making and producing and that we can collaborate with.”

The couple’s cat, Jynx, features prominently on the vodka’s branding.

But Lincolnshire’s history for illegal alcohol production means that selling their own spirit hasn’t been easy.

James Cann said: “You say you’re making a vodka in Lincolnshire and they presume all the history of the local area.

“You get tarred with the brush of underground distilleries and the government looks at you more stringently.”

But the couple hope that they can challenge that image and redefine Lincolnshire as a place associated with quality spirits.

Lizzie added: “We want people to look at Lincolnshire as not a place for underground illegal alcohol production. We want to redefine it as a place of quality spirits and quality produce.

“If we can get through that place then it will open the doors for people to realise that Lincolnshire is a place for start-ups, is a place for millennial to come to and really get the local market going.”

Ex-Libris botanical vodka costs £37 for a 500ml bottle and is available to order from their website, and will also have a stall at the Taste of Lincolnshire food festival so gin and vodka lovers will not have to wait long to try it for themselves.

The botanical vodka gives a new flavour to classic favourites like G&T or Martinis.

Four challenges. Four failures. The Lincolnite tried its best to conquer some of Lincoln’s toughest food challenges but even with a little help from our readers, failed to make the grade.

Our summer food challenge series saw us seek out mountains of meat, platters of ice cream and seriously spicy hot wings, but no matter the challenge — we were beaten at every turn.

If you fancy following in our footsteps, and hopefully doing a little better, or missed one of our earlier videos, here’s a roundup of the challenges we’ve attempted so far.

Ice Cream Extravaganza at Kaspa’s Desserts

15 scoops of Italian ice-cream served on a bed of home-made Kaspa’s waffles topped with syrup, sprinkles, nuts and wafers. A tasty treat for a family of four, but a serious challenge for a single eater.

The Ice Cream Extravaganza is available at Kaspa’s Desserts on Clasketgate and costs £27.95

Apocalypse Cow at Nosey Parker

Got a mouth for meat? The massive burger features a brioche bun, four beef patties, two slices of cheese, fried onions, four slices of bacon, BBQ pulled pork and iceberg lettuce. Served on the side with onion rings, coleslaw, seasoned fries and a pot of BBQ sauce.

It’s one of several challenges available at Nosey Parker at Tritton Road and costs £10.29.

Seven Deadly Wings at Huckleberry’s Bar & Grill

For this spicy challenge The Lincolnite had to pull in a little help from one of our readers – paramedic Steve Pratten.

The challenge consists of seven chicken wings coated in a spicy chilli sauce, bringing a heat level of around seven to 11 million scovilles. Challengers have just seven minutes to tackle the fiery feast and must wait an additional five minutes before washing them down with milk or water.

The seven wings cost £7 and are avaliable from Huckleberry’s Bar & Grill on Clasketgate.

Double XL Stacker at Lion & Snake

This colossal burger challenge consists of four beef burgers, two macaroni and cheese burgers, BBQ sauce, four rashers of bacon and two portions of cheese – with two jalapeño poppers on top, large fries and a large coleslaw.

If you want to take on the challenge yourself, it is available on Mondays at The Lion & Snake for £10.49 as part of their two-for-one burger deal.

According to the manager, the challenge has never before been completed. Could you be the first to defeat the meat?

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