Manchester has noted a sharp increase in the usage of Spice on the streets – in particular among the homeless. Recently, the police had to attend to approximately 60 cases involving the drug over the course of one weekend. In that time, the authorities made several arrests, issued a number of dispersal orders, and had to take several other legal actions against users and sellers in the city centre.

What Is ‘Spice’?

Spice is a synthetic cannabinoid that has the same properties as conventional cannabis. However, experts disagree. Many have described this sort of comparison as extremely unhelpful as the effects of spice are so much more extreme and unpredictable. The use of the substance causes hallucinations, psychosis, muscle weakness and paranoia. Videos of users have gone viral, with some of these showing twitching or users in a catatonic state. According to chief superintendent Wasim Chaudhry, “Those who take spice are often left incapacitated or seriously ill and need the help of our partners in the NHS and Ambulance Service. They can also become aggressive and become a danger to themselves and others.”

Who Is at Risk?

Charity workers say that the homeless most commonly use that spice. They say that “the drug has proven popular among rough sleepers because it is cheap – £5 for half a gramme – and strong, allowing them to ‘self-medicate’ and forget the difficulties in their lives. A survey conducted the charity Homeless Link last year found that more than 90% of rough sleepers in Manchester had tried spice.”

Ever since the implementation of the Psychoactive Substances Act, the supply of the drug has shifted from shops to the street, where the product’s chemistry is dangerously inconsistent. This makes the drug accessible to any drug user, and therefore all recreational drug users, as well as drug addicts, are at risk of obtaining and using Spice.

How Addictive Is Spice Really?

Dr Robert Ralphs, who is a senior lecturer in criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University, has recently done some research into Spice use in the homeless population of Manchester. He has stated that users have reported that the substance was at least equally or more addictive than heroin. “It’s quite common for people to say it’s overtaken their heroin or methadone addiction,” he said. It is, therefore, clear that the drug is dangerously addictive and should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, there are many variations of the substance available, and legislation is struggling to keep up with its preventative measures.

What Do I Do If I’m Addicted to Spice?

Being addicted to anything is a difficult problem to face. This is why you need professional help and expert assistance when you decide to break the hold that the addiction has on your life. At Recovery Lighthouse, we are expertly trained and experienced in dealing with many kinds of addictions as well as alcoholism. We will be able to treat you at our rehab clinic, support you through the detoxification process, and guide you when you embark on your addiction recovery programme.

It is of vital importance that you have a strong support system. If you do not, then our therapists and counsellors will help you to mend and build healthy relationships with your family and close friends so that you can develop the support structure that you need.

We will also assist you with outpatient recovery, where you continue your treatment and therapy while learning to live without the ‘help’ of your drug of choice or object of addiction. This is probably the most important phase of your recovery process. You will need to attend individual as well as group therapy sessions in order to talk about the challenges you face in staying ‘clean’ and sober. With the help of your therapist and fellow group members who know what you’re going through, you will learn new life and coping skills to deal with these challenges.

Recovery Lighthouse is a phone call away. Your first step is to admit that you have a problem. Then you need to give us a call, and we will help you through the process and support you while you recover from your addiction.