Stuttgart Public Prosecutor Blames Darknet for Designer Drug Use
In Stuttgart, Germany, the number of drug charges involving novel psychoactive substances (NPS) is on the rise. And, according to drug clinics in the area, the so called âlegal highsâ are also contributing to a growing number of fatal overdoses.
The senior physician at a local drug addiction clinic spoke of a 23-year-old who had almost died while on unknown chemicals. Three Police officers kept him from jumping off a ledge several stories high. âHe explained to me,” Benedict Bloching, the clinic’s senior physician said, “that he had never had such bad experiences with illegal drugs before. Such cases are a commonplace at the clinic, Bloching explained. However, âsuch drug cases are often not recognized at all.â
Bloching explained that the needingly rushed working of emergency services, equipped with cheap drug tests, resulted in a lapse of knowledge as to what the drugâs identity. Expensive âlab testsâ are necessary to identify the drugs, and even that is often a waste. âEvery month new, slightly modified chemical structures are added,â he said, adding that they often resemble (traditional) amphetamines and marijuana in certain effects and can cause matching false positives.
The âtypicalâ side effects, according to the LPP, are as follows:
âNausea, vomiting, heart rash, anxiety, delusions, symptoms of paralysis, circulatory collapse and failure of vital functions such as breathing and pulse. Consumers report strong withdrawal symptoms. Even deaths associated with the consumption of these products are known.â
As of November 2016, citizens lived under the New Psychoactive Substances Act, a law created to kill the production of designer drugs. According to Philipp Molsberger, a public prosecutor in Stuttgart, the law âobviouslyâ changed nothing for the end user. He added that “the basic idea was good.â
The Consumer and the Darknet
At this point, the darknet may seem unrelated to Stuttgart’s issue with Novel Psychoactive Substances. But, as with many ânew drugs,â officials blamed darknet drug marketplaces for the NPS influx. First, the consumer makes a self-preservation step, the public prosecutor said:”a consumer wants the intoxication, but not the crime that comes with it.â He explained that since those customers will always buy, police needed to pursue only dealers.
One person said that NPS trade is only on the darknetâan incorrect statement, but an easy assumption make. Molsberger confirmed, âthe Darknet is the problem with the NPS.âAs of right now, âmedical professionals try to cope with the phenomenon better.â And one way this had already occurred was at an event in late 2016. Medical professionals hosted it and speakers talked about these Novel Psychoactive Substances. Law enforcement made an appearance and an even tighter collaboration blossomed during the first half of 2017.
Hanjo Leukam, of the Ministry of the Interior in Baden-WÃ¼rttember (LandespolizeiprÃ¤sidium Unit 32) spoke alongside addiction counselors and other medical professionals.