Drug users 'getting Winstoned' by new £5 note as they complain of cut noses when snorting cocaine

By snorting cocaine through banknotes, drug users are also increasing the risk of, and facilitating the transfer of, infection

People are being ‘Winstoned’ by new £5 notes after snorting cocaine
People are being ‘Winstoned’ by new £5 notes after snorting cocaine

Hindus, vegetarians and vegans already voiced outraged after the new polymer £5 note was found to contain animal fat. Now drug users are complaining the thicker and stronger plastic notes have left them with cut noses after trying to snort cocaine.

The self-imposed injury is being referred to as “getting Winstoned” in reference to Winston Churchill’s image appearing on the plastic fivers, according to the Metro newspaper.

An anonymous cocaine user from Birmingham told the paper: “I thought I was the only person to have had my nose cut by the new fiver. But when I told my friend how I was in agony he said I had been “Winstoned” and it was happening to everyone.

“Everyone thought the new fivers were God’s gift to sniffing at the start because they roll up perfectly [...] Now I suppose now people are realising if something seems too good to be true then it usually is.”

By snorting cocaine through banknotes, drug users are also increasing the risk of, and facilitating the transfer of, infection.

Talk to Frank, a national drug education service jointly established by the Department of Health and Home Office of the Government in 2003, warns on its website: “Sharing straws, bank notes and needles may put you at risk of hepatitis B and C, and HIV infections. Snorting cocaine damages the lining of your nose and makes it open to infection.

“Blood and mucus are easily transferred onto straws and notes and these can spread disease when you share snorting equipment.”

The old paper fivers lost their legal tender status last week. Some retailers might still accept them at their own discretion. High street banks can also refuse to exchange notes after the cut-off date, although many said they will replace the notes brought into a branch by their own customers.

The Bank will continue to exchange the old £5 notes indefinitely, as it would for any other bank note which no longer has legal tender status.

The new polymer banknotes, first issued in September last year fit in cash machines like paper ones, but are considerably more durable, cleaner and harder to counterfeit.

Certain religious groups and animal activists expressed outrage last year after the Bank revealed that the notes were made with tallow – a substance derived from fat and used in candles and soaps.

The Bank of England in February said that it will not withdraw the £5 notes from circulation, but added that it would consult with the public on how future banknotes should be made. It is now considering using palm oil for the production of its new £20 notes.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in