Doctors are puzzled at a wave of drug-like symptoms affecting students on nights out in Newcastle’s clubs and bars, despite them having not taken anything.
Witnesses describe seeing people exhibiting the telltale signs of drug use – dilated pupils, sweating, uncontrollable movement of the jaw, an overly-friendly disposition towards strangers – who when questioned, are adamant that they haven’t used drugs. The majority of reports come from bouncers who man the doors of the city’s famous clubs. We approached Philip Cleavey of Killingworth, a bouncer at an anonymous student favourite for a comment. This is what he had to say:
“You see a few lads and a lasses every night, obviously on something or other. We have to ask if they’ve taken anything because it’s a safety thing – if they overdose or whatever in the club, then the owners are liable and could have their license removed. You get used to seeing it.
What began surprising me was when I would ask these lads and lasses if they’d taken anything that night, and they’d tell me no. I couldn’t believe it; eyes as wide as saucers but they’d only had a few trebs?
I was shocked. I had to let the RVI [Royal Victoria Infirmary] know right away. Obviously something wasn’t right. What could be causing these symptoms? They hadn’t taken any drugs – I was told as much by them – and as dodgy as they taste, a treb won’t do that to you.”Philip Cleavey
A team of pharmacologists and toxicologists at Newcastle University are looking into this strange phenomenon. As of yet they have not found the cause of the problem.