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Violent meow meow users lashing out at staff in Swansea's Morriston Hospital

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

Morriston Hospital

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EXTREMELY violent drug users high on the drug meow meow are lashing out at frontline staff at a Swansea hospital.

Mike McCabe, accident and emergency consultant at the city’s Morriston Hospital, has revealed workers were being attacked and some had been lucky to escape serious injury as the drug made people so agitated.

He said it was not only workers at the A&E department who were at risk but those working on its wards.

Mr McCabe said he was concerned about the situation and added that those taking mephedrone, known as meow meow, were often completely unaware of their actions.

“We have had one or two near misses where staff have avoided having serious injuries,” he said.

“They are very, very difficult patients to deal with in A&E and in the intensive care ward.

“When patients do withdraw from this drug they are still agitated for a few days.

“The drug stays in the body for some time.”

He added: “The problems are not just in the A&E department but in other wards too and on other general medical wards where people are recovering from the toxic effect of the drug.”

The accident and emergency consultant said he believed the drug had changed over the last 18 months, as back then patients were more placid.

He said: “I think the drug they are taking nowadays is a different style of drug. It’s much more toxic and it makes people more violent.”

He added that the cocktail of mephedrone and alcohol was a potent mix for users.

“People should avoid drug use with alcohol as it’s so dangerous,” he said.

Meow meow has become more popular in Wales than anywhere else in Britain after being made illegal two years ago.

Mr McCabe said people were accessing the drug through online dealers.

He said in some cases there were those who had not fallen into trouble with the police in the past who were now doing so because of the drug. “Sometimes there are people who have never been in trouble with the law before who take this drug and now become violent unexpectedly,” Mr McCabe said.

“They can’t remember having caused all this violence until they find they are in a police cell. The risk is, if you take this drug you could end up being charged with a violent crime you don’t know you have done.”

Swansea-based drug agencies have been told meow meow is on sale to school children for just 10p.

Staff working for Swansea’s Substance Misuse Action Team (Smat) have previously revealed they too are seeing increasing reports of the drug being used by the people they see.

Mr McCabe said the impact of meow meow was very different compared with Class A drugs including cocaine and heroine, which could kill.

He added: “I am concerned, the key thing is the violence it inflicts on people.

“We don’t know why it’s more of a problem here but it’s also a problem in Barry and Carmarthenshire. We hope people move on and it stops the supply and they all calm down.”

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  • Eric_Pode  |  November 30 2012, 3:30PM

    DaWonkiCod Seems to me that the consultant physician is saying that there is more than one seam with this problem. C11H15NO + C2H5OH sea wot i meen wot duz it seam to u 1 of em iz legul innit so duz plod arest ½ a blowk

  • Neathboy234  |  November 30 2012, 2:09PM

    Dr_Conker of course u are right, i was just trying to make a point about other people who struggle with addictions. With a little help and support most people can be helped. I wouldn't want us to tax drugs as that would entail making them legal, with fag's/fat food and beer it is a different matter of course. BTW i don't really dislike fat people and those who smoke, i in fact feel a little sorry for them, They are just victims of the world that we live in.

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  • Dr_Conker  |  November 30 2012, 2:02PM

    "don,t treat them then perhaps then they will die, that would get rid of the scum." "I also say the same thing about smokers, and my mate hates fat people. At the end of the day no body forces them to take drugs/smoke/eat all the time." Exactly! In fact why dont we just gas the lot of em, the druggies, the alcies, the obese, the young, the racists, the commies,the gypsies, the anti-social, the gays... they're just a drain on our society and it'll save us hard working misanthropes from paying their damn hospital bills Oh wait... didnt someone already try that? .

    |   7
  • Neathboy234  |  November 30 2012, 1:29PM

    intelligent1 i don't like druggies either, lock them up i say, and then give them help whist they are inside.

    |   -5
  • intelligent1  |  November 30 2012, 12:56PM

    weslangdon/neathboy just to point out one problem with your argument which I seam to have to say numerous times to idiots like you, lets start at the beginning - whilst fat people and those who smoke ordinary cigarettes are putting themselves at danger - they are doing nothing illegal - unlike the druggies in society. Its a pity that some people cannot differentiate between activities that are legal and those that are not. Perhaps as soon as they get to teh hospital the police should be called so that they can be dealt with accordingly.

    |   -7
  • Neathboy234  |  November 30 2012, 12:48PM

    GorsseinonJoe not just the violence but the cost of it all. Not doubt the security guards are on minimum wage, but it all adds up. Just like the cost of fat people and smokers. And i'll tell you another thing smokers can get quite irate and angry when they can't have a fag don't u know

    |   -9
  • hairofthedog  |  November 30 2012, 12:28PM

    Anyone who assaults NHS staff should be refused treatment afterward, meow meow users, drunks or those not under the influence of anyhting other than their own idiocy. I don't think you can really lump smokers, drinkers and the overweight in with these. Otherwise where do you draw the line? Refuse treatment to somebody involved in an accident while crossing the road whilst not at a pedistrian crossing? Injuring themselves while playing sport? Life is a risk and the NHS is a net beneficiary where the treatment of smoking related illness is concerned.

    |   -1
  • cresswell1  |  November 29 2012, 7:58PM

    and i hate idiots called neathboy234

    |   -7
  • GorsseinonJoe  |  November 29 2012, 6:31PM

    Neathboy/Weslangdon, only one thing wrong with your argument about fat people who eat all the time and those that smoke. I don't read to many stories about these groups of people using "extreme violence" against those trying to help them. You may be confusing people who need treatment and those who need treatment but are extremely violent, in my book two these are entirely different arguments.

    |   15
  • Neathboy234  |  November 29 2012, 5:37PM

    cresswell "don,t treat them then perhaps then they will die, that would get rid of the scum". I also say the same thing about smokers, and my mate hates fat people. At the end of the day no body forces them to take drugs/smoke/eat all the time. It's not like it's a medical condition.

    |   -9