A NAKED man runs through a job center in a hallucinogenic frenzy, swearing and throwing chairs.
Frightened mothers with young children cower in fear as the jerk, trapped in a zombie-like state, flees an imaginary threat before running outside.
Scenes like this have become all too common in ailing cities across the UK as the street drug known as Monkey Dust rampages through communities.
It was revealed last week that Government ministers want to crack down on the horrific hallucinogen, which has been linked to a spate of violent crime and has caused users to eat glass or jump off buildings.
The synthetic drug – also known as cannibal or zombie dust in the US, where it’s associated with face-eating attacks – costs just £2 a puff.
And the off-white powder can be snorted, swallowed, or smoked, with the intense high lasting 12 hours and inducing extreme aggression and senseless behavior.
In Stoke-on-Trent, residents are rocked by the spread of the deadly substance.
The latest scene at the North Staffordshire Job Center shocked even those used to the sight of junkies who have turned the area into the British capital of a new and dangerous epidemic.
Mum-of-two Becky Taylor, 35, whose cousin was once a consumer, told The Sun of the incident: “It was terrifying.
“The man went insane, smashed things and ran around the place naked.
“I was scared because I had small children with me.”
Monkey Dust can induce feelings of paranoia, invincibility, and super strength.
One police officer said attempting to handcuff an offender is like “fighting the Incredible Hulk”.
It also causes users to overheat, which is why many are stripping.
Home Office ministers have asked the Advisory Council on Substance Abuse to consider whether the Class B substance should be upgraded to the more serious Class A.
That would mean an additional two years in prison for possession and the risk of life imprisonment for traders.
Chris Philp, Secretary of State for Crime and Police, said: “These synthetic drugs are ruining lives, families and neighborhoods.”
“They are made in labs and pumped into our communities.
“Our drug laws must keep up with their evolution.”
Two years ago, Becky’s cousin Ashley Ford, 25, tried to break into her home at 3am but got the wrong house and broke into the next door.
The woman and her adult son, who lived there, pushed him into a pantry, but they said the naked Ford smashed the glass and tried to get through the door, “like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.”
He also vandalized the house before being arrested.
Ford was sentenced to 21 months in prison in June 2021 after admitting to unlawful assault, beating and two counts of criminal damage.
Becky said: “He had also previously run naked down Main Street.
“Monkey dust drove him crazy because he did crazy things.
“But he’s changed his life now and got clean after his prison sentence.
“He has a son now and won’t touch him anymore.”
Monkey dust — chemically known as methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV for short — can produce euphoria similar to amphetamine use, but it can also induce hallucinations.
Experts say the effects occur at low doses and can lead to addiction.
Stoke-on-Trent South MP Jack Brereton is pleased the Government is taking action.
He said: “Many people’s lives have been completely destroyed by taking this drug.”
“There is no treatment for those who become addicted — and it’s very addictive.”
There are no specific official statistics on the number of deaths caused by monkey dust in the UK.
However, the latest data on “new psychoactive substances” to which the drug belongs showed that the number of deaths here increased by 88 percent in one year, from 137 in 2020 to 258 in 2021.
Use-related crime has risen sharply in the Potteries, with the Hanley borough being the worst hit.
When The Sun came to visit, a wild-eyed woman in a top hat was swaying in the street, gazing up at the sky.
Another woman stuck her head in public trash cans looking for anything to sell.
Retired builder Vasile Calarsu, 56, said: ‘It’s crazy here.
“I saw four people collapse in the middle of the street.
“A man in his drug addicted state set fire to dumpsters in his yard and burned the house down.
“These drugs drive people crazy.”
Vasile’s neighbor Jamie Woolley, 30, said users climbed over a nearby fence and turned a parking lot into a drug den.
The father-of-two added: “You see them wandering around here all the time. We know we have to leave them alone.”
His partner Lauren Proctor, 24, said: “I was walking out of the shop last week and there was someone smoking it out of a pipe.
“They keep knocking on our door trying to sell stolen stuff.”
A number of criminals have been jailed at Stoke Crown Court for violent crimes committed while under the influence of the drug, while some local people have died.
In November, 34-year-old Mary Stokes was sentenced to 32 months in prison after twice stabbing a cancer patient.
And James Owens, 29, has been sentenced to 26 months in prison after a court learned he tried to “throw his daughter out of an upstairs window”.
In March, 45-year-old Carl Bage died after falling off a wall while ingesting a drug cocktail, including monkey dust.
And last July, 43-year-old Natasha Johnson suffered a fatal overdose after mixing methadone.
Staffordshire Police have a team of officers working to cut stocks in the area and recently seized £100,000 worth of monkey dust.
But former Stoke City football manager Lou Macari, who is trying to tackle homelessness in the area, said recently: “We have a huge problem with monkey dust in Stoke and I’ve seen things I never thought I would would ever experience – people stripping naked.” because they are convinced that there are snakes on the floor, paranoia and psychotic episodes.
“It’s getting worse here, not better.”