1. ITV Report

Ambulance service warns against life threatening drug

EMAS are warning people against life threatening drugs Credit: East Midlands Ambulance Service

East Midlands Ambulance Service are warning people against a life threatening drug.

It follows a surge in 999 calls for people who were in a zombie like state, suspected of taking synthetic high drugs including Mamba and Spice.

Most calls on Saturday and Sunday were to cases in Nottingham and Derby and involved groups of people with similar symptoms. One case reported nine individuals across several doorways in Nottingham city centre who were reported as having breathing difficulties and the inability to speak.

Due to the seriousness of the symptoms several ambulance crews were dispatched to the incidents, however it can be difficult for our crews to engage with the patients in their ‘zombied’ state. In many cases the patients declined assistance, refused to give their details and didn't want to be treated or go to hospital.

Whilst attempting to care for these patients some crews were also assaulted both physically and verbally. A crew from Derby were physically assaulted twice in one shift by patients who had taken this drug.

We’ve had previous cases reported of patients using synthetic drugs, however, this weekend crews were reporting case after case.

These drugs are dangerous and often contain harmful chemicals which can put lives at risk.

When high on synthetics, symptoms can include unconsciousness and slurred speech, all of which mimic someone who is in a life-threatening condition.

Users are risking their own lives due to the harmful chemicals but are also at risk of endangering the lives of others by taking a crew away from someone who really needs them.”

– Wendy Hazard, Ambulance Operations Manager for Nottinghamshire
  • Over the weekend in Derby there were 31 incidents, some with multiple patients
  • In Nottingham there were 10 incidents and 22 patients were treated. Of those, 9 were congregated in the city centre and we received multiple 999 calls throughout the day
  • In Derby three staff members reported physical assaults from patients who were suspected as being under the influence of a synthetic substance
  • Crews in both areas reported aggression and verbal abuse