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New drug may target illegal raves in summer
WARNINGS surround a new acid-style rave drug, which has been discovered for the first time in West Oxfordshire.
The hallucinogenic Class A-drug, known to users as “Foxy Methoxy”, is expected to be the summer’s drug of choice for people attending illegal raves and nightclubs.
Police found the rave drug — a white powder sold in plastic capsule for just £5 — after searching two men spotted casing a warehouse in Long Hanborough.
The drug has never been confiscated by police in Oxfordshire before, and has been sent away for laboratory testing.
About a dozen illegal raves have been raided by police in the past 12 months.
PC Andy Ball said: “We believe the substance which was seized could be an illegal Class A-drug called “Foxy Methoxy”.
“It was found by officers who were searching a man caught acting suspiciously as part of Operation Jif tackling serious and acquisitive crime.
“This operation ties in with Operation Falcon, a Thames Valley-wide campaign to reduce drug-driven crime and disorder.”
The drug was found following a search by police community support officers Helen Keen and Isabel Webb in Lower Road at about 4pm on Thursday, March 19.
A 20-year-old man was arrested, and has been released on bail until April 19.
Last year, police closed down illegal raves in Upper Heyford, Didcot, Boars Hill, East Hendred, Shilton, and two in Burford.
In January, an illegal rave was broken up in Black Bourton Road, in Carterton.
The drug creates euphoria and hallucinations, but can also complicate existing mental health problems, and because it is relatively new, the long-term effects are not known.
It is a Class A-drug with the same properties as acid or LSD and is also known as fake ecstasy.
Retired Oxfordshire police commander Shaun Morley, regional director of Oxford’s Substance Misuse Arrest Referral Team (Smart), which treats criminals with drug problems referred by police, said the organisation was unaware of the drug.
He added: “This is a new drug out there. Users should be aware that although the effects are documented, the purity or impurity of what is being used in Oxfordshire is not known.
“We haven’t seen this type of drug in Oxfordshire or the Thames Valley before.”
Harry Shapiro, of DrugScope, said: “There are always new or unusual drugs which suddenly appear on the UK drug scene, then disappear just as quickly. 'Foxy methoxy' or 5-MeO-DIPT may well be such a drug.
“The primary cause for concern with these sorts of drugs is not so much that their use will spread, because often it doesn't — but that they are sold as a substance familiar to drug users like ecstasy or cocaine, when in fact the effects are entirely different and unexpected.
“With this drug, users can experience anxiety, vomiting and nausea, and the drug’s powerful hallucinogenic effects can make people highly disorientated.”
Anyone with information on drug misuse should contact police on 08458 505505 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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