The ultra-addictive substance – known as 'Monkey Dust' – has been linked to a series of grusome 'face-eating' attacks in the US.

Cops and paramedics in Stoke-on-Trent have warned that usage has become an "epidemic" – with one saying walking through the city was like the "living dead".

The synthetic drug's potent effects last for three days – with some users left unable to feel pain for up to a week.

Addicts commonly believe they are being chased, and often try to climb building and lampposts to escape beasts from their vivid hallucinations.

Paramedic Ann Armstrong, who has worked for the local Ambulance service for 16 years, told Sky News: "You just don't know what they will do… I've had one trying to set my trousers on fire as I was treating him," she said.

"It is an epidemic and something needs to be done."

PC Rich Frost added: "When you are trying to restrain them it's like you are dealing with someone who thinks they are the Incredible Hulk, the strength is unbelievable."

Cops have launched a series of desperate raids to track down the source of the drug – but to no avail.

Homeless addict Cherry, 30, explained: "Ninety percent of the people I know are on the dust," she said. "They just lose their heads."

"It's bad… but you can't do anything to stop it."

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