POVERTY in Blackpool is fuelling the rise in young people taking street drug Bubble, according to one drug worker.
Mephedrone, known as Bubble, is increasingly causing problems in the resort, with an increasing number of people taking the drug which is cheap and easy to come by.
And its party drug status means many users do not realise the weight of their drug habit.
Matt Idle, a drug worker and volunteer at the Ashley Foundation hostel on Abingdon Street, in central Blackpool, said: “Bubble is probably the biggest problem in Blackpool at the moment, in my opinion.
“It’s so cheap, £10 for a gram instead of £50 for cocaine, young people can afford it. “Because there’s so much poverty they’ve not got a lot of money, so what they do have is spent on this cheap drug.”
A special Gazette investigation revealed police in Blackpool’s custody office are often attacked by people high on Bubble.
Despite being listed as a Class B drug, Bubble is widely available on the internet.
Matt Morrison-Shear, 22, a recovering drug addict from Kirkham, said: “I used to take anything I could get my hands on and because Bubble is so cheap I would just take that.
“It gives you a buzz but then it can make you violently sick or psychotic.
“I sold all my stuff to buy it, I had 37 grams one time. It left me with nothing.”
Mr Idle, who has been ‘clean’ of drugs for six years, said he has seen girls drop to just six or seven stone in weight due to the effects of the so-called party drug, which causes loss of appetite when users come down from its high.
The drug worker told how he has seen people taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s psychiatric unit suffering psychosis after spending days high on the drug. He said: “They stay up for so long when they take it, that they might start seeing or hearing things and suffer the effects of no sleep.”
Staff at the Ashley Foundation offer guidance and support for users of its hostel who want to stop taking drugs.
Mr Idle added: “We try to show them that they’re better than that, and give them a bit of self worth.”