Monkey Dust Addiction

Monkey dust is one of the most sensationalised drugs in the world, with newspaper accounts of users being turned into zombies and monkey dust drug face eating. While these stories are, of course, tabloid sensationalism, they don’t take away from the real and ever-present dangers of monkey dust abuse and addiction. As an incredibly potent psychoactive drug, monkey dust has the potential to cause enormous harm, with monkey dust addiction affecting individuals and their loved ones and blighting the communities where the drug is most prevalent.

What is monkey dust?

Monkey dust, also known as MDPV (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone), is a highly dangerous synthetic drug. It usually comes in a white or yellowish powder form, which can be snorted, smoked, injected or taken orally.

Monkey dust drug effects make users feel extremely energetic and alert, similar to other stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine. However, it can also have severe side effects, including:

  • Confused
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Violent behaviour

These effects and side-effects can last for up to twelve hours and cause huge distress and health dangers, with some users causing harm to themselves and committing random acts of crime and violence.

Monkey dust in the UK

Monkey dust first emerged in the UK around the mid-2010s, coinciding with the rise of other synthetic drugs often referred to as “legal highs” before their eventual classification as illegal substances. Its popularity grew rapidly due to its potent stimulant effects and easy manufacturing and distribution.

Monkey dust has been particularly prevalent in certain urban areas, with Stoke-on-Trent being one of the most affected regions. In these areas, dangerous behaviours linked to monkey dust have surged, significantly burdening local emergency services and healthcare systems.

In response to the rising threat, the UK government has classified MDPV and similar synthetic cathinones as Class B drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act. This classification makes producing, distributing, or possessing monkey dust illegal, with severe legal penalties.

What is monkey dust addiction?

Becoming addicted to monkey dust means you have lost control over your use of the drug. Monkey dust addiction develops because of how the drug affects your brain and changes your behaviour. Here is how the process usually takes place:

Initial use or experimentation

You might try monkey dust out of curiosity, peer pressure, or just to experience its drug effects. The first high can be very intense and enjoyable, making you want to do it again.

Continued use

As you keep using monkey dust, your body and brain start to get used to it. This means you need more of the drug to feel the same monkey dust drug effects, which is called tolerance.


Over time, your brain changes, and it becomes hard to feel normal without the drug. This is called dependence, and it can make you use monkey dust more often to avoid feeling bad, like having severe anxiety, depression, tiredness and irritability.

Monkey dust addiction

At this point, it becomes impossible to stop using monkey dust, even though you know it’s harmful. Addiction makes you keep looking for and using the drug, even when it causes problems in your life, like health issues, trouble with relationships, losing your job or getting into legal trouble.

Signs of monkey dust addiction

If you can spot the signs of monkey dust addiction in yourself or someone you know, it can help you take action before things get worse. Here are ten signs to look out for:

  1. Keeping monkey dust a secret, hiding the drug or lying about activities.
  2. Ignoring school, work or family duties.
  3. Acting strangely, being unpredictable or showing extreme mood swings.
  4. Taking dangerous risks, like driving while high or using monkey dust in unsafe places.
  5. Feeling extremely anxious or nervous all the time.
  6. Being overly suspicious or thinking everyone is out to get you.
  7. Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there.
  8. Becoming aggressive or violent without any clear reason.
  9. Pulling away from friends and family, spending a lot of time alone or hanging out with a new crowd that also uses monkey dust.
  10. Using monkey dust even when it causes problems like these.

Who is at most at risk of monkey dust addiction?

Certain factors can make some people more likely to become addicted to drugs like monkey dust. Some of those most at risk include:

  • People with a lot of stress or mental health conditions like depression, anxiety or PTSD may use drugs to cope with their feelings.
  • People with a history of addiction in their family.
  • People who are surrounded by friends or peers who use drugs like monkey dust and normalise this behaviour.
  • People who have experienced trauma or abuse, especially during childhood, use drugs like money dust to cope.
  • Those living in areas of poverty or with high drug availability can contribute to the risk of addiction.
  • Teenagers and young people are more likely to experiment with drugs and develop addictions.

The impact of monkey dust addiction and abuse

Monkey dust addiction and abuse can cause a lot of serious health and personal problems. Here’s how it can affect different parts of your life:

Health problems

  • Mental health issues: Using monkey dust can make you extremely anxious, paranoid and even hallucinate. It can cause new mental health problems or make existing ones worse.
  • Physical health problems: Monkey dust can cause heart problems like rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure, leading to heart attacks or strokes. It can also harm your kidneys and liver, particularly if you use monkey dust for a long time.
  • Monkey dust overdose: Taking too much monkey dust can cause seizures, make you pass out and can even be fatal.
  • Injuries: Monkey dust can make you do risky things, increasing the chances of accidents and injuries.

Personal and social problems

  • Relationship Issues: Monkey dust addiction can harm your relationships with family and friends. You might become secretive, neglect your responsibilities and hurt the people you care about.
  • Problems at school or work: Your performance can suffer a lot due to monkey dust addiction, leading to bad grades, dropping out of school or losing your job.
  • Financial troubles: Monkey dust addiction can be expensive, and you may get into debt or even do illegal things to get more drugs.
  • Legal issues: Getting caught using, supplying or producing monkey dust can lead to arrest, criminal charges, fines and imprisonment, all of which can massively harm your future.

Treatment for monkey dust addiction

Drug detox is the first step in monkey dust addiction treatment, which is when medical professionals help clear your system of all the drugs. After that, drug rehab helps dig down into why you started using Monkey Dust and how to change your life so you don’t need it anymore. Once you have finished these stages, ongoing therapy, joining groups like Narcotics Anonymous and practising different ways of managing the problems in your life can all prevent a return to monkey dust use.

Get help for monkey dust addiction today

If you or someone you know is struggling with monkey dust addiction, don’t wait until it’s too late. Reach out to Linwood House today for professional support and treatment. Your journey to recovery starts here – take action now and reclaim your life.

Frequently asked questions

Can monkey dust kill you?
Yes, monkey dust can be deadly. Taking too much can lead to severe health complications like heart attacks, strokes, seizures and even fatal overdoses. Its intense effects can also result in risky behaviours and accidents, which can also be potentially fatal.
What is monkey dust made of?
Monkey dust is made of a synthetic stimulant called MDPV (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone). MDPV affects the brain intensely, causing powerful stimulant effects and severe side effects that can be very harmful.
Is monkey dust the same as spice?
No, monkey dust and spice are not the same. Monkey dust is a synthetic stimulant, while spice is a synthetic cannabinoid which mimics the effects of marijuana. Both drugs are dangerous and illegal, but they have different chemical compositions and effects on the body and brain.

(Click here to see works cited)

  • BBC News. “Monkey dust users to benefit from Stoke-on-Trent help.” BBC News, Accessed 5 June 2024.
  • FRANK. “Cathinones | Effects of Cathinones.” FRANK, Accessed 5 June 2024.
    Gov.UK. “Government seeks advice on ‘monkey dust.’” Gov.UK, Accessed 5 June 2024.
  • NIDA. “Synthetic Cathinones (“Bath Salts”).” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 28 Feb. 2024, Accessed 5 Jun. 2024.
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