A 13-year-old boy has said his devastating addiction to ‘zombie’ drug Black Mamba is ‘tearing his family apart’.
Jamie Poulton, from Lincoln, became addicted to the synthetic form of cannabis known as ‘Black Mamba’ after struggling with his mental health.
The teenager turned to the ‘zombie drug’ as a way of dealing with his mental health issues, including ADHD.
He now smokes the highly addictive drug on a daily basis, sometimes until he passes out.
Jamie, who lives with his grandmother Teresa, is sold the drug on the street and said it is ripping him and his family apart.
He is now begging for help to wean him off the ‘zombie’ drug.
Jamie Poulton, from Lincoln, smokes the highly addictive Black Mamba drug on a daily basis, sometimes until he passes out
Jamie said: ‘I take the drugs but it doesn’t help. It’s tearing me and my family apart.
‘All I think about is drugs but I don’t want to think about that. Family comes before drugs but I need help and extra support.
‘All Addaction [the charity] does is give me tea and biscuits and take me to McDonald’s.’
His grandmother Teresa told Lincolnshire Live: ‘He lives with me and I’ve brought him up, but that also means I get the brunt of him. With the mental illness, he thinks he owns me and I can’t have a life.
‘Sometimes he takes all his clothes off and climbs drainpipes and lampposts. He smashes up my flat as well. It’s all just getting too much.
‘It’s getting harder and harder and no one is doing anything. I look after him, feed him and clothe him. He can be such a lovely boy but then he gets angry and takes these drugs. He is desperate for help.
‘I’m also bringing up my 19-month-old granddaughter now and it’s all getting too much. I’ve been depressed since I was 14 but all I do is good.
‘Sometimes I just want to take myself and him in the river and end it all. I’m always there for everyone and no one is ever there for me.
‘I try to be strong but I’m at the stage where I can’t take anymore.’
Jamie, pictured with his grandmother Teresa and mother Jennifer who are struggling to cope with his addiction to the drug
Black Mamba mimics the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis.
However, synthetic forms of the drug are more potent than natural cannabis, increasing the risk of harmful side effects – which can include psychotic episodes, convulsions and organ failure.
Black Mamba was reclassified as a Class B controlled drug in 2013 after gaining popularity as a so-called ‘legal high’. These narcotics were outlawed completely when the Psychoactive Substances Act came into effect in May 2016.
Jamie’s mother, Jennifer, 33, said: ‘It’s the only thing he relies on and it’s breaking us down and tearing us apart. You see other legal high users killing themselves and I have nightmares that it’ll be my son in the gutter.’
Janice Spencer, assistant director of children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: ‘We can’t comment on individual cases but we do work with partners where support is needed for young people who are in need of help. This includes with organisations like Addaction to deliver specialist services to young people who misuse drugs.’
A spokesperson for Young Addaction said: ‘Young Addaction are creative with the ways we engage vulnerable young people. We text, phone, drop-in to their homes, and use diversionary activities and assertive outreach. That may occasionally involve a one-to-one informal chat over a cup of tea, a burger or engagement in sports activity.
‘We are flexible with when and where we see young people and we will transport them to treatment and appointments, if required, with the ultimate goal being the safety and well-being of that young person. Once our workers have fully engaged with a young person we offer accessible treatment and support to help them make the necessary changes.’