What are Legal Highs?
Legal high is the term used to describe a whole new group of synthetic (man-made) drugs designed to produce similar effects to other drugs such as:
Cannabis, Ecstasy, Cocaine & Amphetamine.
Legal highs are also referred to as New Psychoactive Substances, NPS, Research Chemicals, illegal legals or illegal highs
The Facts About Legal Highs
Legal highs can be sold as:
Plant food • Bath salts • Bath bombs •
Descriptions are misleading and inaccurate many are labelled
"Not For Human Consumption"
“100 per cent, people will carry on dealing and taking.”
Use of legal highs has been linked to:
Crime • Suicide • Dependency • Lifestyle Instability
“I lost my job, my flat, my family and friends,”
“I’ve heard lots of people say that’s where the money is. Because everyone is on it now.”
Legal highs carry serious health risks due to:
• Inconsistent chemical composition •
• Presence of unknown and deadly chemicals •
• Variations in purity and strength •
• Lack of technical data and reference material •
“I had hammered other drugs for years
they never took me to the place legal highs took me.
It’s a death sentence. That’s all it is."
The chemicals they contain have in most cases never been passed safe for human use. Users can never be certain of what they're taking or the effects.
“I died off it. Someone had to bring us back to life with CPR.
And as soon as I got out of hospital, I took some more. Even though it has killed me.
Because that’s how addictive it is.”
Although legal highs look like the drugs they are designed to copy, they are widely viewed by young people as safer alternatives to traditional drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine.
A misconception that has proved fatal, legal highs are potentially as dangerous as class A drugs.
“It’s like cannabis, with the effect of heroin.”
Legal highs are known to cause serious harm even death, many produce a psychoactive effect, effects include altered state of mind, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, paranoid and psychotic states.
“a bomb ready to detonate”.
“It’s called ‘Insane’,” “Everyone’s on it, everybody’s like a zombie in the town.”
Some legal highs are up to 100 times stronger than the drugs they are designed to copy; this makes it difficult to predict their effects or how someone will react to taking them.
“Even when you’re not on it, you have got a screaming voice in your head gagging for it. It’s like being possessed.”
There are hundreds of products for sale over the internet. Sold in bright, colourful, appealing packaging, products can be smoked, inhaled or taken as a pill. To date more than 500 products have been banned.
“the biggest addiction I have been through is legal highs. You can’t get out of it.”