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Police warn against dangerous new drug
Updated 11:04am Tuesday 5th February 2013 in News
POLICE are warning the public to be vigilant against a dangerous new drug.
Officers seized around one kilo of what is believed to be Methamphetamine in Liverpool on January 24 and a 22-year-old was later arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.
Police say there is not yet a problem with the potentially life-threatening drug in Merseyside but 700g of the substance was recovered in Wirral last November.
The drugs seized in both cases were not produced in the UK and are believed to have come from abroad.
Following the discoveries officers are now warning people about the dangers of taking Methamphetamine and the consequences of being found in possession of it.
Methamphetamine belongs to a family of drugs called amphetamines - powerful stimulants that speed up the body’s central nervous system. It is a Class A drug that is highly addictive, dangerous and has severe adverse effects.
It is an offence to possess, supply or produce methamphetamine.
Possession of Class A-drugs carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment and/or fine.
Trafficking offences carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.
As with most amphetamine-based drugs that are manufactured illicitly, purity is questionable, and therefore it can be fatal if taken.
The dangers with methamphetamine include a rapid rise in heart rate and blood pressure, putting a massive strain on the cardiac system.
Over the last few years the American authorities have seen a significant rise in the use of Methamphetamine and the adverse effect this drug has on the health of users though the drug is not well known in the UK.
Methamphetamine is usually a white, odourless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol and may be snorted, swallowed, smoked or injected.
In its smokable form, methamphetamine is called "ice," "crystal," "crank" or "glass" because of its transparent, sheet-like crystals.
Now police are calling on the public to help them to track down anyone suspected of distributed the drug.
Detective Superintendent Chris Green, said: "Our investigation is focused on finding who is involved in the illegal supply of this drug and taking both them, and the drugs they are peddling, out of circulation.
"We are working closely with our colleagues in the health service to establish the full range of side effects this particular type of drug can have and make as many people possible aware of the risk they pose.
"Methamphetamine causes the heart to beat faster and blood pressure to rise. Since the content of the drug sold varies widely, it is difficult to judge the size of dose. An overdose of methamphetamine can result in seizures, high body temperature, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, stroke and death.
"I would call on the wider public to call Merseyside Police or Crimestoppers if they have any information about who is distributing or importing this drug so that we can take them off the streets and prevent someone come to serious harm."
Dr Kate Clark, consultant in emergency medicine at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital, said: "Illegal drugs are harmful and in certain circumstance can prove to be fatal.
"Anyone choosing to take illegal drugs has no idea what is in the drug or if it has been mixed with something harmful, and different people will respond in different ways. One person may be fine but their friend could have a serious or fatal reaction."
Anyone with information about the drug and its distribution can call Merseyside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Information is available on the Frank website and local drug treatment agencies offer confidential advice.