ONE of a group of six people hospitalised after taking an illegal drug they bought on the internet has spoken publicly about the incident.
Police were called to a student house in Ripon Gardens, Jesmond, Newcastle, in the early hours of Friday after reports that the occupants, some of whom were Newcastle University students, had overdosed on drugs.
Last night, one of the group remained in a critical condition in the city’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
Earlier, one of the university students who was allowed to go home claimed that the incident had been “all blown out of proportion”.
“We were under the impression we knew what we were taking, we had previous knowledge of the substance,” said the man who asked not to be named.
“However, it did not seem to react with us as it had previously. People take risks every day, but this didn’t work out as we had expected.”
The student added that he and his friends were worried about the man who was still in hospital, and worried what the consequences might be for him.
“They said he seems to be stable,” he said, “but they won’t tell us much more than that.
“We had to spend the night in hospital and they sent us back home the next morning, but we are fine. The police have completely turned our house upside down and we have given voluntary statements. We aren’t proud of what happened, but we didn’t expect it to end like this.”
When police arrived at the property, they discovered six men aged between 19 and 22, had taken a substance that had been ordered and bought over the internet.
Two men, both aged 23, and a 20-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug and have been bailed pending further inquiries.
Police said the drug was purchased in a white powder form and some of it had been recovered.
The recovered substance is believed to be 2CI, a Class A hallucinogenic drug which is chemically related to the better known 2CB that is also referred to as Bromo, Nexus, CB, Performax, Spectrum, Venus, Erox, Cloud Nine or Toonies.
Both drugs can also be supplied in the form of small pills.
Fearing more people may be tempted to try the drug, police have issued an alert to hospitals and partner agencies in the area.
Chief Supt Gary Calvert, of Newcastle Area Command, said: “Taking any illegal drug is dangerous and potentially life-threatening and 2CB is an illegal hallucinogenic drug.
“If anyone has any of these in their possession we urge them not to take them and hand them in to the police.
“Anyone who may have taken the drug and feels unwell should seek medical attention immediately.”