Fears powdered alcohol could be new craze after being seized in UK jails
Exclusive: Substance can be snorted, baked into cakes or mixed with water to make booze
By Craig Woodhouse, Chief Political Correspondent
January 28, 2016
POWDERED alcohol has been found in British prisons for the first time ever, The Sun can reveal — sparking fears it
will become the latest dangerous drug craze.
In a shocking new development, guards at two UK jails have seized the substance in recent months.
As a result, prisons across the country have been ordered to be on the lookout for lags trying to get hold of
Ministers have been warned to expect an explosion in its use amid worries it will deepen the jailhouse violence
crisis blamed on other legal highs.
Powdered alcohol can be snorted, baked into cakes or mixed with water to make booze and is not yet commercially
available — but recipes for home-made versions are available on the internet.
A mass-market product was licensed in America last year and has been banned in several states after concerns it
will lead to a rise in drinks being spiked or kids getting drunk as they can sneak it into soda.
But it has already found its way into British prisons — where criminals will go to great lengths to get high.
On Tuesday former prisons inspector Lord Ramsbotham told peers the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick,
had described to him as “the next trend” causing him and his inspectors “even more worry”.
HM Prisons Inspectorate revealed: “There have been two occasions recently where we have been to prisons where
they have intercepted powdered alcohol.
“We know it is being developed. It’s not a large-scale problem, but prisons need to become aware of it before it
becomes a large-scale problem.”
They did not say which prisons the powdered alcohol was found in, or exactly when.
Lord Ramsbotham has called for an annual review to monitor new drugs crazes in Britain’s jails, and said: “This is a
worrying development. No sooner do we block one route than people will try and find another.”
Powdered alcohol would make it even easier for lags to brew up hooch in their cells — a practice which is already
Guards found illicit booze 1,090 times during 2014, up from just 172 in 2005, and drugs seizures have also risen,
from 3,701 in 2000 to 5,973 in 2014.
And legal highs were discovered a staggering 851 times in just two months at the end of last year.