Europe’s drugs agency has poured cold water on the alleged cannibalistic effects of new stimulant MDPV – linked to nearly a hundred deaths.
Newspapers claimed a British holidaymaker in Magaluf, Spain, started biting tourists after taking the so-called “cannibal” drug. It reportedly took ten police officers to restrain the 28-year-old man, who had to be later sedated by a doctor.
Michael Evans-Brown, a senior researcher at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, said MDPV was associated with violence and aggression but there had been no reported cases of cannibalism.
He criticised the media for “distorting the facts”, saying it was impossible to link the drug to cannibalistic behaviour without knowing precisely what the man had taken. One media report, for instance, admitted he had taken a “cocktail of different drugs”.
He told euronews: “Our reports says severe aggression and violence is not uncommon, which seems to be more than other classic stimulants like cocaine.
“There’s been cases reports where individuals have been violent towards themselves, inanimate objects or other individuals.”
Evans-Brown’s view backs up a statement from Spain-based drugs information collective Energy Control, who said there had not been “a single case of cannibal attacks” documented over the last decade.
The drug, full name methylenedioxypyrovalerone, was also linked to an assault in Miami (pictured, above) in which a homeless man had three-quarters of his face 'devoured'.
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MailOnline</a> Tourists visiting Ibiza warned of dangerous 'Cannibal' drug <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TCOT?src=hash">#TCOT</a></p>— David Jack Smith (davidjacksmith) July 1, 2014
But Energy Control and Evans-Brown both said there was no evidence of MDPV found in the attacker’s body.
The drug was developed iin the 1960s but did not become a medicine. It re-emerged onto the illicit drugs market in the late 2000s, according to Evans-Brown.
A report by EMCDDA earlier in 2014 linked the drug to 99 deaths since 2009 . Finland had nearly half (40); United Kingdom (32); Sweden (21); Poland (3; and France, Austria and Norway (1).