Dundee’s boom in bubbles appears to have burst after drug treatment agencies said they were dealing with far fewer cases involving the so-called “party drug.”
Bubbles, or mephedrone, hit Dundee’s social scene hard in early 2009 and went on to cause havoc for families and in communities across Dundee.
Even after the “legal high” was reclassified as a class B controlled drug in April last year, treatment agencies were still coping with countless cases of young people suffering side-effects including paranoia, aggression and depression.
But now the number of cases being referred to treatment services has plummeted, raising hopes that health messages are getting through.
Natalie Watson, a senior practitioner with Cair Scotland’s Key to Change programme, said her service had gone from having a huge waiting list to only one to two referrals within a year.
“We’ve not had a solely bubbles-related referral for some time,” she said.
Gareth Balmer from Addaction said he had also seen in a drop in the number of people coming forward for assistance.
“We have definitely seen a decrease in bubbles,” he said. “In recent months we have only had a couple of people coming forward presenting to us as it being a problem drug.”
However, Tayside Police’s Inspector Wendy Symington, the force’s drugs co-ordinator, urged caution, saying mephedrone was still being recovered on the streets of the area.