Merseyside Police is urging people to be vigilant about a new type of drug, Methamphetamine, after officers seized approximately one kilo of what is believed to be the drug in Liverpool on Thursday, 24 January.

A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class-A drugs in connection with the find in Walton on Thursday. Detectives have questioned the man and he has been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Although Merseyside does not have a problem with Methamphetamine this is the second seizure of what is believed to the drug in the last three months within the Merseyside area. Officers recovered 700g of Methamphetamine in Wirral in November 2012.

The drugs seized in both cases were not produced in the UK and are believed to have come from abroad.

Following these discoveries officers wish to warn the public about the dangers of taking Methamphetamine and the consequences of being found in possession of it.

Methamphetamine belongs to a family of drugs called amphetamines – powerful stimulants that speed up the body’s central nervous system. It is a Class A drug that is highly addictive, dangerous and has severe adverse effects. It is an offence to possess, supply or produce methamphetamine.

Possession of Class A-drugs carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment and/or fine. Trafficking offences carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.

As with most amphetamine-based drugs that are manufactured illicitly, purity is questionable, and therefore it can be fatal if taken. The dangers with methamphetamine include a rapid rise in heart rate and blood pressure, putting a massive strain on the cardiac system

Over the last few years the American authorities have seen a significant rise in the use of Methamphetamine and the adverse effect this drug has on the health of users though the drug is not well known in the UK.

Methamphetamine is usually a white, odourless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that dissolves easily in water or alcohol and may be snorted, swallowed, smoked or injected. In its smokable form, methamphetamine is called “ice,” “crystal,” “crank” or “glass” because of its transparent, sheet-like crystals.

Although Merseyside Police is not aware of any methamphetamine use or production in the area the Force is taking the opportunity to warn the public about the drug.

The Force is urging the public not to take any illegal substances, particularly resembling Methamphetamine, and is calling on people to help the police track down anyone suspected of distributing this potentially life-threatening drug.

Detective Superintendent Chris Green, said: “Our investigation is focused on finding who is involved in the illegal supply of this drug and taking both them, and the drugs they are peddling, out of circulation.

“We are working closely with our colleagues in the health service to establish the full range of side effects this particular type of drug can have and make as many people possible aware of the risk they pose.

“Methamphetamine causes the heart to beat faster and blood pressure to rise. Since the content of the drug sold varies widely, it is difficult to judge the size of dose. An overdose of methamphetamine can result in seizures, high body temperature, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, stroke and death.

“I would call on the wider public to call Merseyside Police or Crimestoppers if they have any information about who is distributing or importing this drug so that we can take them off the streets and prevent someone come to serious harm.”

Dr Kate Clark, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital, said: “Illegal drugs are harmful and in certain circumstance can prove to be fatal. Anyone choosing to take illegal drugs has no idea what is in the drug or if it has been mixed with something harmful, and different people will respond in different ways. One person may be fine but their friend could have a serious or fatal reaction.”

Anyone with information about this drug and its distribution is urged to call Merseyside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Information is available on the Frank website and local drug treatment agencies offer confidential advice.

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