A very sad news story has been developing in Cambridge over the last few days concerning the deaths of two members of the street community who were due to be married, but, as the Cambridge News' Raymond Brown reports, were found dead on Jesus Green on Tuesday 16 July.
The couple – Kim Reid and Jimmy Sinclair – are thought to have taken the former "legal high" (but now a class B drug) Methoxetamine. This is a dissociative anaesthetic, chemically related to the "horse tranquilizer" ketamine; but Methoxetamine is far stronger than Ketamine and like K it can react dangerously with alcohol and cannabis.
What is especially sad is that people in Cambridge are saying remarks along the line that these two got what they deserved and were "lowlife". As a former drugs worker I have to wonder if any of the people making these remarks, some of which can be viewed on the comments section of the two Cambridge News articles linked to below, were so morally upright about Methoxetamine before it was illegal? Or would they say such things about a couple who had been found dead in a house on a leafy suburban avenue?
Nick Ross nails the root of the drugs crisis in his recent and unjustly-maligned book on crime: drugs are used widely because they are available. Many people who have never taken drugs are lucky enough never to have been offered them. Of those who have, some will try drugs and decide against using them again. Others will continue to use, not necessarily through any moral deficiency but rather a constellation of complex factors including abuse in childhood, trauma in adulthood, mental health issues, prevailing – and often conflicting – messages on the acceptability of taking drugs (eg from Establishment figures)…the list goes on, and some of the items also militate towards becoming homeless or vulnerably housed.
May Kim Reid and Jimmy Sinclair rest in peace.