The problem of so-called “zombie drugs” could get even worse, a senior police officer in Wales has warned.
Chief Inspector Dave Jolly, from North Wales Police, has described the issues associated with New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) as the “biggest challenge” faced by his force.
The UK Government introduced a blanket ban on the drugs, previously known as legal highs, in 2016.
‘Will get worse’
The substances include ‘Spice’ and ‘Black Mamba’ and are called zombie drugs for the effects they have on people.
They are highly addictive and using them can lead to hallucinations, psychosis, muscle weakness and paranoia.
Speaking on ITV Cymru Wales, Chief Inspector Jolly said: “My gut feeling is the problem will get worse.”
He added that police “have more intelligence on the producers of drugs like heroin and cocaine than they do on Spice”.
Earlier this year, Arfon Jones, Police Commissioner for North Wales, was fiercely criticised after saying the drugs should be made legal again.
Welsh Assembly member Darren Millar described his calls as “outrageous”, saying: “I find his views a disgrace.
“These drugs are very dangerous and act as gateways to even more dangerous drugs. They ruin lives. We need fewer drugs in our society, not more.”
Legal high ban
Speaking at the introduction of the legal high ban, a Government Minister said: “Too many lives have been lost or ruined by the dangerous drugs formerly referred to as ‘legal highs’.
“That is why we have taken action to stamp out this brazen trade. The Psychoactive Substances Act sends a clear message – these drugs are not legal, they are not safe and we will not allow them to be sold in this country.”