Police in the UK are testing anti-cocaine spray to reduce drug use in pubs, but drug safety experts have been critical, calling it a gimmick.
The spray, named Blokit, is used to coat surfaces such as bars, toilet cisterns, pool tables and baby changing tables with an invisible film that will supposedly ruin cocaine if it comes in contact with it.
The coating lasts up to 24 hours, basically making powders lump when they are used on the surface, as well as containing a powerful bittering agent which leaves a bad taste lasting for hours if people try to scrape the drug off the surface and take them.
Officers from Durham Constabulary have introduced the spray in 24 pubs throughout Darlington, northeast England. The move was initiated after drug sniffer dogs found evidence of cocaine.
📢 We have become the first police force in the region to begin using a groundbreaking anti-cocaine spray to deter drug taking in pubs and clubs.
— Durham Constabulary (@DurhamPolice) September 30, 2021
The Darlington Borough Council reportedly paid Millwood Manufacturing $1200 for 60 bottles of Blokit, which is apparently a non-toxic mixture of resins and surfactants.
Pub owners also received posters stating ‘Blokit anti-drug deterrent spray in use on these premises’.
The makers of Blokit, who also produce Halo Laundry detergent, claim it’s being used in 600 licensed premises across Britain as well as on surfaces in cinemas, colleges and libraries. They also claim that it has led to an 80 percent drop in drug use in these venues, likely due to punters finding new venues to visit.
Drug safety experts are questioning just how effective this spray actually is at stopping drug use in venues.
“Does anyone really snort off a cistern when they could just use a smartphone?” Guy Jones, senior scientist at drug testing organisation ‘The Loop’ said to VICE.
“Keys are so widely known as a cocaine dosing tool that they have become a slang unit of measure. Short of following people into the cubicle, I don’t see what pub landlords can be expected to do.”
All in all the spray seems to be another useless tactic used by police and pub owners in England attempting to prevent people snorting drugs in these venues.
Previous strategies have included covering surfaces in vaseline or WD-40 (which police reversed based on health grounds), reducing flat surfaces in pubs, using ‘toilet bouncers’ and ‘cocaine torches’, and a UV light which was used to detect powder up peoples noses until it was found to be useless.