When Pam and I were younger, you had to rely on your natural resources and maybe a pint or two of best bitter to keep you going at a party or dance. I remember they used to sell ProPlus tablets, which contained caffeine, to keep you alert but I never thought it worth the risk of taking anything like that. When my natural resources started to flag, I simply went home to sleep it off.
Nowadays though, young people rely on drugs and other means to keep themselves going at parties and dances. Ecstasy was apparently the main choice drug but it wasn’t cheap and had well documented side affects if your over did it.
In their search for something more affordable and perhaps more acceptable, youngsters have experimented with a wide variety of substances some of which have proved to be very dangerous.
Two 18-year-olds died and a 20-year-old fell seriously ill after they were given a drug brewed from the leaf of the thorn apple plant at a rave in the Madrid commuter town of Getafe on 21 August.
Seeds and leaves from the thorn apple, which is also known as devil's trumpet or devil's weed, are hallucinogenic and dangerous. Scientists warn that the whole plant, including its flowers, can seriously damage health. Side-effects include an increased pulse, muscular twitches, diarrhoea, convulsions, coma and death.
You have to remember that the thorn apple comes from the same family of plants as belladonna, otherwise known as deadly nightshade. The mayor of Getafe has ordered any thorn apple plants found growing in the wild to be destroyed.