2017 has its drug scare du jour. An epidemic of spice use is wreaking havoc among homeless and prison communities and the services that support them, and no one quite knows what to do about it.
First, let’s get one thing clear. We have not opened a psychopharmacological portal to the underworld. Legions of the flesh-eating undead are not roaming our streets, whatever some newspaper and TV outlets might suggest. In labelling people using spice as zombies, the media have allowed us to forget that these are vulnerable people, who are using a terrifyingly obliviating substance to escape an unbearably boring, painful or depressing reality. They are not extras from a horror movie, but people who need support.
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