"Me and my mates was out last night and smoked some spice. One mate had a bad reaction, ended up unconscious in hospital. The rest of us was ok. Why?"
This is common with legal highs and in particular spice.
Firstly, it's important you know that you can never predict how another person is going to react to taking any drug. It's dangerous to recommend someone try a drug based on your own personal experience, this can have fatal consequences. Everyone has the potential to react differently to taking the same drug.
There have been a few examples lately with legal highs when one or more of a group of friends sharing /splitting the same drug have become seriously ill or died as a result.
The fact effects from legal highs remain so unpredictable is because the chemical formula (make up of the drug) strength and purity vary almost each and every time.
Buying the same brand legal high is no guarantee you'll be safe, ingredients change frequently, even amongst brands that carry the same name. Some ingredients contained in legal highs don't appear on the packaging, others may contain completely different ingredients to those listed on the packet, this makes taking them extremely unsafe. Bottom line is, every time you take a legal high it's like playing Russian roulette.
"Why are legal high products labelled not for human consumption?"
- All foods or products intended for human use are subjected to numerous tests to ensure that they're safe for us to use. Any chemicals contained in foods are again subject to very strict guidelines and have to meet with permitted recommended safe levels. All ingredients have to be clearly labelled.
This is not the case when substances are marked or labelled Not For Human Consumption.
The manufacturers and people selling legal highs know many of the chemicals they contain pose a serious risk to health if consumed by humans, they also know if products were labelled for human consumption they would be subjected to the same tests as for example a tin of beans.
The manufacturers and sellers know by labelling and selling products Not For Human Consumption allows them to bypass safety laws. They are producing and selling products they know are being taken by the public yet they have no regard for people's health, safety or well-being. These people are simply interested in the profit to be made from the production and sale of products.
"I thought legal highs were safe?"
- This is a common misconception. The fact is these drugs are unregulated, unsafe and possibly illegal to possess. The chemicals contained in these drugs have in most cases never been tested or approved for human consumption. Please see our "WHAT ARE UNREGULATED DRUGS?" page and also the articles on our "NEWS" page for more info.
"I used to be a regular cannabis user, switched to spice, completely different experience, why?"
As with most designer drugs the effects are largely unknown due to the ever changing chemical make-up, as a result effects are unpredictable. If you want to talk about this more, please contact us confidentially with a return email address and we can give you advice and information specific to your situation.
"How do I get help with my addiction?".
If you are talking about low-level drug use, for example, using drugs socially (at weekends with mates). Then it's a case of putting practical measures in place to change what you do, before this situation becomes a part of your daily life. It's unlikely at this point that you're physically or psychologically dependent on drugs. But dependency can creep up on people. Although using drugs socially may not appear problematic, a regular repeated pattern of use is likely to cause problems with life style stability, such as debt, housing,
partnerships, employment and friendships.
Breaking any habit isn't easy, ask any smoker trying to give up, a dependent drinker or someone trying to lose weight. It's about making lifestyle changes that will have long term benefits and having the strength of character to see them through even when temptation to use (repeat that habit) comes your way.
The likelihood is, if your routines remain unchanged then the outcome remains the same. Negative routines will lead you to lapse and use drugs again.
Our advice would be if this remains a concern to get back in touch with us, in anyway you feel comfortable (Facebook, Twitter, Email or again through the website, all forms of contact will remain anonymous. Alternatively, we can provide a confidential phone number for you to call).