Concerns over dangerous chrystallised form of spice
DOCTORS at hospitals in Oldham and Bury have treated 11 patients over the weekend whose serious and significant symptoms suggest they have taken a new crystallised form of the drug spice
Four men were taken to hospital during the course of Saturday 24 June after taking a drug was originally thought to be MDMA.
On Sunday 25 June, another five men and one woman were taken to hospital after also taking what is believed to be the same drug.
A 31 year-old man from Rochdale, who was admitted into hospital, has sadly died, although this was discovered to be from a heroin overdose and not related to the spice.
Four men are currently in a critical condition and receiving treatment in intensive care.
One other is in a stable condition in hospital and three people received treatment but have since been released from hospital.
The drug is believed to come in crystal form and is highly potent, with many of the people police have spoken to saying that this is the first time they have seen or heard of the drug.
Concerns amongst medical professionals and police are high given the potential for serious harm and even lethal consequences for those who have taken it.
Greater Manchester Police Chief Superintendent Neil Evans Territorial Commander for Oldham, Rochdale & Tameside said:
“Sadly a man has died as a result of taking what we believe is an MDMA based drug.
“This is incredibly worrying and, with our colleagues from the NHS, we are doing all that we can to warn people against taking the drug and help those who may have taken it."
Professor Matt Makin, Medical Director for The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:
"We have treated 11 patients over the weekend whose serious and significant symptoms suggest they have taken a crystallised type drug. Four patients have required critical care, with others either being admitted to medical wards or discharged after treatment.
"Sadly, one man has died despite the efforts from our emergency services. Our thoughts and condolences with their family.
"It is unusual to have a cluster of patients admitted with such severe signs and symptoms and we believe this series of patients are all linked to a new form of crystallised spice”.
We are advising people not to purchase or ingest illicit street drugs; we do not know at this point if the issue is one of potency or contamination. If you think you may have taken the drug or know somebody who has then you need to seek medical attention.
If you believe somebody has taken the drug and is showing the following symptoms – Rigid Muscles, rapid breathing or heart rate (pulse), Fits, agitation/paranoia, foaming at mouth or unconsciousness they need to be taken to hospital immediately.
Anybody with information that could assist the Police investigation should contact police on 0161 856 9063 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.