Man high on ‘monkey dust’ tries to extinguish cigarette with petrol pump

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Police arrested a man in the UK after he attempted to put out a lit cigarette with a petrol pump. He was high on a drug called monkey dust, police discovered.

The incident happened at a service station in Burslem in the English country of Staffordshire. Local police held the 46-year-old just before 8am on Sunday morning.

“Officers have arrested a male high on monkey dust after he tried to put a lit cigarette out with a petrol pump,” a Staffordshire Police spokesperson said.

“Brave and swift action from (service station) staff prevented a potential disaster.”

What is monkey dust?

Monkey dust, also known as MDPV, belongs to the family of drugs known as cathinones. It is an off-white powder that users swallow, inject or snort. In the UK, it can cost as little as £2 ($4) to buy.

Although MDPV is man-made, and therefore a so-called designer drug, it also contains khat, which is a naturally occurring stimulant. Khat is popular among some sections of the UK’s Somali and West-African communities.

Cathinones were available online and in ‘headshops’ as so-called ‘legal highs’ in the UK until the government reclassified them as Class B drugs in April 2010.

‘Running into traffic’

Although its effects vary, monkey dust can produce intense euphoria and alertness, but also powerful hallucinations and paranoia. It can also make people physically stronger and less sensitive to pain.

Chief Superintendent of Staffordshire Police Jeff Moore says people who have taken monkey dust are “difficult to deal with” and pose “a risk not just to other people but to themselves as well”.

“We’ve seen cases where we’ve got people running into traffic,” he said. “We’ve seen cases where we’ve got people climbing onto buildings.

“Officers in Staffordshire have been injured. Officers in Staffordshire have been shocked at the results of what happens to people when they take this.”