The streets of Great Britain are turning into a scene from The Walking Dead now that homeless people and others have discovered a new drug called “Spice,” a so-called marijuana alternative (though it has nothing whatsoever to do with real cannabis) that leaves users in a dazed, zombie-like state, and has the potential to cause serious injury and death.
Reports indicate that Manchester is slowly morphing into a zombie apocalypse as Spice addicts roam the streets, only to pass out on the ground or inside street planters like human litter. The U.K.’s Daily Mail recently posted photos and video footage of this growing epidemic, which is being fueled by the U.K.’s continued stance of prohibition against real cannabis.
A bus driver by the name of Gavin Rodda snapped some photos and video of suspected Spice users passed out on the ground, lying stomach up in flower planters along the sidewalk, and slumped over in corners. In some cases, these suspected Spice users were even seen smashing up their own faces like demon-possessed monsters in the street.
According to charity figures, some 95 percent of Manchester’s young homeless population is addicted to Spice, as it’s more easily accessible and cheaper than other drugs. One user who spoke to The Daily Mail explained that Spice is more dangerous than heroin, and yet it’s easier to get than real cannabis, which doesn’t cause this type of bodily harm.
“I have used it for about two years,” the user told the U.K. paper. “It’s cheap in bundles and they are going for daft prices. Heroin users are saying it’s the worst stuff going. It’s dangerous.”
What makes Spice particularly harmful is how it looks deceptively like real marijuana. People who think they’re taking a hit of natural herb are instead taking in a synthetic substance that can cause serious health problems.
Julie Boyle, a support worker at a youth homeless shelter in Manchester known as Lifeshare, explained how she witnessed a woman collapse at a tram stop after taking a drag of what she believed to be cannabis, but that was actually Spice. The woman had to be taken away in an ambulance — and she was one of about 26 others who had to be rescued for the same reason just on that same day.
“In the city centre there are people who just look like they are frozen, like the walking dead, sat in a catatonic state not moving,” Boyle told The Daily Mail. “You wouldn’t even know they were alive — it’s like when you press pause on the telly. They don’t know where they are.”
Before being banned last April, Spice was widely sold in U.K. shops over the counter. Once it was realized how dangerous the drug truly is, the government outlawed it, but it was already too late — many people had become addicted to Spice that would continue to find it on the black market, wreaking havoc on public civility.
“Whatever’s going round the city centre at the moment is causing this,” Boyle warned. “Every corner there are beggars or homeless people hanging about, out of every six or so at least two will be catatonic. People are falling without even putting out their hands, which would be your natural instinct.”
Spice is composed of synthetic, laboratory-made chemicals that supposedly mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component in cannabis. However, real THC does not induce violence or loss of mental capacity, and does not turn people into walking zombies.
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