A dangerous legal high is readily available to buy in Scarborough – despite experts warning that inhaling the toxic fumes could put people in a coma.
The legal status of the substance, called Clockwork Orange after the infamous video nasty, is to be raised by local MP Robert Goodwill to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, after we highlighted to him the devastating toll it has already taken on users in the town.
The substance, which resembles cannabis, is available to buy legally in Scarborough for just £12, and has already put at least six people from the town in hospital.
Mr Goodwill has sent a grave warning to Scarborough traders selling the chemical compound, urging them to take it off their shelves while the Government looks at its legal status.
“I would urge people in Scarborough who are selling this to stop now, before they literally do have blood on their hands,” said Mr Goodwill.
“Whether people are taking this for show or simply for bravado, I can’t believe anybody would be so stupid and irresponsible to take something of this type considering the risks.
“If people are taking this sort of stuff to enhance a night out, how can they justify it when they are coughing up blood in hospital?”
His tough comments come as two more substances have been outlawed by the Government, and follow comments made by the Government’s chief drugs advisor, who said it was “pure nonsense” that around 200 dangerous legal highs could be bought over the counter.
And a Scarborough man claims that he thought he had died, after smoking Clockwork Orange with a group of friends.
After just two hits of the substance, he was sent on a violent hell ride, falling unconscious just seconds after inhaling the toxic fumes.
“I knew instantly that something was very wrong and as overly-dramatic as it sounds, I honestly thought we were all going to die,” he said, adding that friends’ effort to save him felt like “attempts to drag me into my death”.
The man, who has asked to remain anonymous, was rushed to Scarborough Hospital, but the substance made him enraged, lashing out at paramedics and doctors as he was violently sick.
“I believed I had actually died, my death manifesting itself in a swirling kaleidoscope of experiences, feelings, sounds and images of my life,” he said.
“These familiar scenes, far from being of comfort, were like torture and other souls around me were suffering the same perpetual torment.
“Eventually, after partially coming round, I made a half-naked bid for freedom, running topless through A&E and out into the cool, damp, early morning air.”
He was eventually returned safely, although the effects lasted for several hours.
The substance is sold in one-gram bright orange bags, and is emblazoned with the warning that it is “a research chemical and for lab reagent use only”.
A Scarborough News reporter was sold a bag by staff at a shop in the centre of Scarborough.
When the reporter returned to the shop, the member of staff said that he didn’t use the substance himself, but that they “always warn people of the dangers” when buying it.
However, during our transaction, the store worker chatted on the phone the whole time.
Mr Goodwill added: “These people selling it are walking a very dangerous path.”