Monkey Dust is dominating the headlines. With its unpredictable side effects, the psychoactive substance is currently an epidemic in some parts of the UK. We took a closer look at the synthetic drug emergency services are describing as a potential public health crisis.
What is Monkey Dust?
Also known as Cannibal Dust, Zombie Dust and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) Monkey Dust is a synthetic man-made drug, chemically similar to amphetamines, and from a family of drugs known as cathinones – an ingredient derived from the plant Khat.
Prior to 2010, cathinones could be purchased in ‘head shops’ but have since been reclassified as Class C Drugs in legislation rushed through parliament to tackle the rise of the drug mephedrone, before a wider crack down on so-called ‘legal highs’.
What are the Effects of Monkey Dust?
Synthetic forms like MDPV can be made with various changes in the chemical structure, so can cause unpredictable effects. The substance stops users from feeling pain, but also causes hallucinations and paranoia. Users have been known to climb trees and buildings like ‘monkeys’, which is how it was given its name – Monkey Dust.
Staffordshire Police and emergency services have reportedly responded to around 950 incidents related to Monkey Dust in the past three months, this equates to more than 10 a day.
Testing for Monkey Dust
As we explain in our blog ‘The Highs and Lows of Testing for Psychoactive Substances’, keeping up with new designer drugs can be a challenge.
At Lextox we’re able to detect over 38 psychoactive substances, including MDPV and the list is growing.
Similar to the other drugs we test for, we recommend hair testing for the following reasons:
- We can test hair for specific substances. Targeted analysis means you can look for particular compounds.
- It provides a unique window of detection covering months, rather than days that urine or oral fluid analysis can show. A month by month analysis is useful in profiling a pattern of drug use.
- Results and Expert Reports for psychoactive substances can be issued in 6 working days or less of receiving the hair sample.
- Results are legally defensible and are accepted in every UK family court.
To find out more about testing for ‘Monkey Dust’ or to book your sample collection appointment call 029 2048 4141 or email [email protected].