A former Black Mamba addict has revealed how he suffered “three months of utter hell” after becoming addicted to the substance.
And the recovered former drug user has also told how he woke up after a blackout to paramedics standing around him.
25-year-old Richard Bates started taking Black Mamba after he fought a cannabis addiction.
But, as Derby Telegraph reports, Richard quickly became addicted to the substance, which is sold as a synthetic cannabis substitute.
He had panic attacks, became isolated and suffered blackouts within months and spent time in hospital .
“It was three months of utter hell – I’d never been in an ambulance until I started using it,” he said.
“It is a shock to the system – you can feel your heart pounding like crazy. I’ve heard of people having panic attacks when they first take it, and I’ve seen one person take three hits before and just fall backwards.
“When I was using it I didn’t care what I looked like, I would walk around with food on my shirt – I was just completely numb.
“I would easily spend three or four days in the flat without speaking to anyone.
“I was just walking through the town centre to go home and I just blacked out – I woke up with the ambulance crew around me,” he added.
Richard took Black Mamba back in 2015 before it and other cannabis substitutes were made illegal last year. He claimed this helped him get clean.
Richard, of Litchurch, Derby, added: “When it stopped being legal, the accessibility stopped me using it.
“Eight of us ended up on it from the group I was part of – one day we looked at each other and thought ‘what are we doing?’.
“The others have been a big support and I eventually managed to tell my family.”
But the recovered addict, who is now training for a half marathon and is about to start work as a cleaner, does think the ban has had some unintended repercussions.
He said: “I think it being legal meant that it was regulated and you had a bit more of an idea what was going into it – now it’s being made and sold on the street the strength can vary so much, depending on where you get it, and you have no idea what’s in it.
“It’s not being made in laboratories anymore, it’s being made on the streets – I’ve even heard stories of dealers putting nail polish remover into it. If people are desperate enough they don’t care what’s in it.
“Making it illegal instantly turned it into a money-maker for dealers – if people can’t get their hands on it easily, there’s a market for it. I’m not saying it should be made legal again, it’s just what happens.
“”It wasn’t easy getting clean – I’d be okay for a couple of months and then something would happen in my life and I’d just fall back into it but I’ve been clean for a long while now. I’ve got a clear head now.”
Source : BirminghamMail