Pubs using 'anti-cocaine' spray clearly don't know how people actually take drugs 1 month ago

Pubs using 'anti-cocaine' spray clearly don't know how people actually take drugs

About as useful as a poster reading 'Don't do drugs'

Pubs that have been spraying surfaces with an ‘anti-cocaine’ spray in the hopes of deterring drug use within their venues have been criticised for their clueless knowledge surrounding how people actually take drugs.

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The spray in question, named Blokit, uses a ‘unique polymer resin structure’ that essentially captures the cocaine and sticks to it. Though minimising drug use is high on the agenda of both hospitality venues and the government, people have criticised the invention for its gimmicky nature.

“This is the latest in a long line of gimmicks which have been suggested by police could reduce cocaine use in pubs and bars. The problem is none of these initiatives reduce harmful drug use, at best they displace it. In reality they risk distracting from policies that can save lives,” Adam Waugh of Psycare UK told Vice.

Darlington Borough Council, however, thinks it’s a great idea, having paid Millwood Manufacturing £650 for 60 bottles of Blokit. Along with vials of the deterrent, pub owners also get posters that read: "Blokit anti-drug deterrent spray in use on these premises".

The manufacturer told Durham Police that pubs using their product saw “an 80% reduction in drug-taking in their premises since its introduction”.

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Sounds great, right?

But upon being asked by Vice where they got these figures from, Millwood replied that it was anecdotal.

A Durham police spokesman said: “If the product is successful at reducing drug use in venues in Darlington then we will look to expand it further across the Durham Constabulary area.”

Despite police seemingly keeping an eye on the product, experts in the field are not convinced.

“Does anyone really snort off a cistern when they could just use a smartphone?” Guy Jones, a senior scientist at drug testing organisation The Loop, told Vice.

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“Keys are so widely known as a cocaine dosing tool that they have become a slang unit of measure. Short of following people into the cubicle, I don’t see what pub landlords can be expected to do about people consuming such a popular drug.”

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