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.

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