University of Birmingham chemist, Dr Louise Male, contributes to a documentary about the dangers of a nasty street drug on BBC's Inside Out West Midlands
On Monday 15 October, Dr Louise Male featured on the latest episode of Inside Out West Midlands in which the public were warned about the dangers of one of the UK’s biggest synthetic drugs, the “Black Mamba”.
A former “legal high” that was supposedly safe and made from natural substances is now proving fatal as it continues to take over Birmingham’s homeless population.
The “Black Mamba” drug is made up of a concoction of chemicals, meaning there are different variations of the drug out on the streets.
During the feature, Dr Louise Male, manager of the School of Chemistry’s Analytical Facility at the University of Birmingham explained the results found during an analysis of a sample of “Black Mamba” carried out for the BBC by Dr Chi Tsang of the Mass Spectrometry team. She explains that manufacturers of the drug are “mimicking natural cannabis and changing the molecule slightly.” She adds that these changes being made could stem from a desire to make the drug more psycho-active or perhaps to give it other appealing properties.
In the episode, filmmaker and reporter Qasa Alom explored the dangers of “Black Mamba” with Dr Male and they discussed how this untested substance could prove to be fatal.
You can watch the episode on BBC iPlayer.