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Barnsley MCAT use is highest in county

By liam fountain, Hoyland Reporter Friday 1st March 2013

Barnsley is the MCAT capital of the county, with almost two-thirds of all seizures last year being made here, police revealed this week.


Of the 252 kilos of the drug recovered across South Yorkshire, 161kg came Barnsley, an increase of 230 per cent.


Police say the drug - made using plant fertiliser - has become popular on the town's nightlife circuit as many people see it as a cheaper alternative to booze.


Acting sergeant Gavin Kerr of South Yorkshire Police's tasking team said: "On weekends there's a high quantity of it in the town centre. People who have never been in trouble before do it.


"Officers are always talking to the people in the cells, asking them where it's coming from."

Until two years ago, it was known as a 'legal high' and available as plant food.


Users snort, swallow or inject it to get feelings of euphoria and excitement but side effects include aggressive behaviour, paranoia and loss of concentration.

And one woman who has seen the consequences first-hand is Valerie Townend, 50, of Burton Grange, Lundwood.


Her son William tried to commit suicide after taking MCAT. She said: "It's no good, it ruins lives. Parents should be talking to their kids about it or they could lose everything.


"You see kids wanting to fight, thinking they're invincible. They have it once and then their mates have it. They'll find it no matter where they go."


She believes courts need to impose stiffer sentences for people caught using it to act as a deterrent.


"It's just a slap on wrist for first time offenders, they should send them to prison. Put them behind bars."

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by ryan I Fri 1st Mar 2013 at 1:03pm

Putting people behind bars for drug issues would only make the problem worse there's more drugs on the inside than out here and at 3x the cost.. Send them to rehab and it cost less of the tax payers money too

Posted by Mkat is stupid, but the users don't deserve black marks. I Fri 1st Mar 2013 at 1:58pm

Putting the users behind bars is an easy escape for you. Doing the right thing taking the mkat dealers off te street stop it from coming in to the country is what you should be doing. The only reason so many people take it is cos its so cheap and easy to get hold of.

But that doesn't make sense to you does it. Putting a black mark on a kids life by slamming him/her behind bars because its the easier fish to catch is ridiculous.

Get rehabilition set up, prison doesn't work.

Posted by jim I Sat 2nd Mar 2013 at 11:58am

The use of M Cat has increased rapidly since it became illegal - prohibition of drugs does not work. Criminalising people who use drugs does not work. We need an approach that takes drugs away from a Criminal Justice issues and sees it as a Public Health one. All currently illegal drugs should be legalised, controlled and regulated.

Posted by Lauren Conway I Sat 2nd Mar 2013 at 12:12pm

Its easily available anywhere in the country- it is a small country this stuff is easy to move around. What we need to look at are things like why are so many young people doing this drug? Its a social issue that needs to be addressed.

The war on drugs doesn't work, much like the war on terror. Its just a ploy to ensure that the income of countries that have a booming drugs trade isn't legitamized.

Everyone know that MCAT comes from purpose built labs in India and China, its only sold into the country under the false pretense that it is a fertilser. It is manufactured from the beginning as a recreational drug.

As for the statement that says it makes users aggressive, I appose that, it actually makes users have rushes of empathy. Tell everyone their thoughts and feelings, pour their hearts out. Much like ecstasy. If you compare this violence induced by alcohol you will find alcohol is a hell of a lot worse.

The problem with MCAT is that its impossibly moreish and unregulated.

The answer to all these socail problems would be to legalise weed and encourage support and treatment for people who overindulge rather than punishing and outcasting them from society.