Get help, advice and information on legal highs and know the risks at www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk
Legal highs (also known as Novel Psyscoactive Substances) are substances used like illegal drugs, but not covered by current misuse of drugs laws, and so they are legal to possess or to use.
Although these drugs are marketed as legal substances, this does not mean that they are safe or approved for people to use. Some drugs marketed as legal highs actually contain some ingredients that are illegal to possess.
Legal highs can carry serious health risks. The chemicals they contain have in most cases never been used in drugs for human consumption before, so haven't been tested to show that they are safe. Users can never be certain what they are taking and what the effects might be.
Legal highs are usually sold on internet sites as plant food, bath salts or herbal remedies. They may be labelled not for human consumption. Legal highs used alongside alcohol pose even greater risks to health and should be avoided.
The marketing and sale of legal highs is often designed to avoid medicines legislation, marked with labels such as “not for human consumption”, “plant food” or “bath salts”. Some are sold as branded products such as the now banned “Black Mamba” where shown to contain varying chemical components.
Legal Highs (or New Psychoactive Substances) can look like white crystal powder that looks and acts like plant feeder or also as tablets or capsules sold as medicines or pills for weight control.
Many of the legal highs are herbal mixtures which can be added to tobacco and smoked; they are usually sold as herbal incense labelled as “not for human consumption”.
The availability of these substances over the internet has radically changed the nature of drugs market; new substances are continually emerging, bringing with them renewed concerns about their chemical composition and the potential harmful effects. Evidences suggest that taking legal highs could lead to a range of different side effects, for example people committing suicide or becoming paranoid. The chemicals they contain have in most cases never been used in drugs for human consumption before, so haven’t been tested to show that they are safe.
Remember that just because a substance is termed “legal” does not make it safe or “legal” and the contents of the package are probably “not what it says on the tin”.
The Legal Highs Lethal Lows Campaign was launched in December 2012 to highlight the risks of recreational drug use and links to health risks in isolation or combined with alcohol. The campaign is managed by Leicestershire Substance Misuse Partnership (SMP). To contact the SMP team please call 0116 3052690 or email us on email@example.com.
The Legal Highs Lethal Lows campaign has attracted local, national and international interest and we have iniatives planned throughout 2013/14 to help target the harm caused by Novel Psychoactive Substances.
The Substance Misuse Partnership (SMP) commission substance misuse services across the two counties of Leicestershire and Rutland for adults and young people and for both criminal justice and non-criminal justice services. Our main website can be viewed at www.drugs.org.uk.
SMP are responsible for overseeing the delivery of the National Drug Strategy at a local level. The National Drug Strategy 2010 "Reducing Demand, Restircting Supply, Building Recovery" aims to reduce the harm that drugs cause to society, to communities, individuals and their families and comprises of three strands;
The SMP vision is that all service users in Leicestershire and Rutland have fair and equitable access to drug and alcohol treatment services which meet their needs, encourage recovery and social re-integration and are able to reduce the harms caused by substance misuse to the individuals, those affected by their misuse and the wider community.
Check out our phone app game “Life is a dancefloor” available to download via Apple and Android.
Drink ALCOHOL in moderation
Drink WATER to sober up
And DANCE the night away for a TOP SCORE!
From Sunday 1st December 2013 until Thursday 12th December 2013 you can win a £25 gift voucher!
You can entry in the competition every day but you can win JUST once! (T&Cs apply) (Please make sure you read the T&Cs, the prize MUST be collected in Leicester!)
There is a prize available every day:
Follow us on Twitter now! @SMP_Leics
AN OVERVIEW OF THE BRAND NAMES OF NPS:
The school of Life and Medical Sciences (University of Hertfordshire, UK) and the Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies (La Sapienza Universita di Roma) presented this interesting study of legal highs brand names at the 2nd International Conference on NPs that took place in Swansea in September 2013.
Introduction: In recent years we have witnessed to an exponential increase of novel psychoactive substances (NPSs), mainly advertised on the Internet as safer alternative to illegal drugs. According to studies carried by the ReDNet project, it is possible to estimate not only that more than 670 different NPSs and combinations are available for sale, but that several thousands of brand names have been created to advertise these products, making them more appealing especially to young people.
Methods: The brand names of the 50 most requested fact-sheets embedded in the ReDNet SMAIL Service have been explored and additional web sources have been consulted to find out more about the origins of their denominations and the possible reasons behind the choices.
Results: while several brand names are adaptations of basic active compounds (e.g. “Phenny” for Phenazepam; “Mexxy” for Methoxetamine), others are simply indicative of the appearance of the substance (e.g. “Cotton Cloud” or “Pure White” for some synthetic cathinones) however, intriguingly, most of the names appear to be deliberately chosen as marketing strategies to attract the attention of vulnerable potential users. These include various references to iconic movies, social bands, comics, animals, landscapes, among others.
Conclusions: Little is known about the marketing strategies behind this rapidly growing online market. This study about brand names covers just one of the multiple aspects associated with their diffusion. More in depth socio-cultural studies are required.
December 2013 will see the culmination of the two year SMP campaign “Legal Highs Lethal Lows”. During 2012 and 2013 a host of initiatives have been undertaken to highlight the risks of legal highs and provide advice, information and support to those within our local communities and throughout the UK. This has included working in partnership with our local district councils, Leicestershire Police and a number of support organisations to reach young people and young adults. We introduced a number of innovative new technologies to increase engagement with our target groups, such as our interactive phone application game “Life is a Dance Floor” available to download via Apple and Android.
Debbie Langham, who led the campaign for SMP said “We are extremely pleased with the outcome from Phase 1 and 2 of the Legal Highs Lethal Lows campaign which has received local and national recognition reaching in over 74 countries. This campaign has supported the reduction of risk associated with legal high use and offered individuals a pathway for additional treatment if required”
From 1st December to 12th December SMP will be launching the final stage of the campaign through the introduction of a 12 days of Christmas initiative in partnership with our local district councils and commissioned services. On each of the 12 days, legal high advice and support will be posted via our @SMP_Leics Twitter feed with a giveaway promotion each day. Participants will be encouraged to use our campaign hash tag #legalhighslethallows throughout the period to enter our giveaways. A poster campaign will also be running in local licenced premises and through attendance at local Christmas light switch on events with a team of staff engaging young people. Final campaign results will be available in the new year 2014.
Swanswell, a national recovery charity which runs the integrated alcohol and drug treatment support service in Leicestershire and Rutland, is one of the services supporting the campaign.
Jo Woods, Swanswell Director, East Region, said: ‘We’re pleased to have been part of the legal highs, lethal lows campaign to help highlight the real dangers of taking these substances.
‘Legal highs are becoming increasingly popular, and in many cases, are the drug of choice on the club scene – yet little is known about the long-term effects, especially if mixed with other drugs or alcohol.
‘Awareness-raising campaigns such as this go a long way to helping people understand some of the risks of legal highs, so they can make an informed decision about their use.
‘If you’ve got questions about legal highs or are worried about someone else, get in touch with Swanswell on 0300 303 5000 or visit www.swanswell.org
Congratulations to Guy Williams! Our iPad winner! Find out more here: http://www.drugs.org.uk/news/122-we-have-an-ipad-winner
New initiatives coming soon for this Christmas! Follow us on Twitter (@SMP_Leics) for more information!
The second phase of your “Legal Highs Lethal Lows” harm minimisation campaign has concluded with over 6.500 visits to www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk and participating in the 2nd International Conference on NPS that took place in Swansea in September 2013.
We had over 450 hits to the website the first week of Phase 2 (April 2013) and almost 500 hits during the fresher’s week (October 2013).
The mobile access to www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk has increased compared to Phase 1 being over 35% during the summer festivals (Glaston Budget, Download Festival & Strawberry Fields) where we were raising awareness of the dangers of legal highs.
We have received visits to our website from many different countries from North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.
We will continue during this Christmas with new initiatives. Check our websites (www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk and www.drugs.org.uk ) and our daily tweets to find out more about #legalhighslethallows at Christmas.
The Community Drug and Alcohol Team from Guernsey (UK) presented at the 2nd International Conference on NPS a study on neuropsychiatric manifestations of "legal highs".
The results of the study show that neuropsychiatric symptoms and a number of other abnormal experiences may result from use of "legal highs".
A survey in which 50 consenting participants that admitted to have used or were using "legal highs" were asked to complete a purpose designed questionnare. Five participants qualitatively described their experience of intoxication and withdrawal from "legal highs" as well as "drug seeking behaviour".
The mean age of users was 24 years. 56% of participants admitted to have used "legal highs" between one and five years with 58% adminitting to daily use. On average participants had used nine different types of "legal highs". smoking was the commonest method of use reported by 90%. At least 70% of users admitted to at least three dependence indicators. The most common desired effect was "feeling high" reported by 86%. Paranoia was the commonest psychotic symptom reported with 66.7% admitting this symptom. Decreased need for sleep, feeling low and racing thoughts were some of the mood symptoms reported. Other neuropsychiatric symptoms reported included seizures, headaches, memory problems, sweating, loss of appetite and panic attacks.
Substance Misuse Partnership Leicestershire & Rutland attended the 2nd International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances held at Swansea University on 12th and 13th of September 2013. This informative conference was attended by professionals worldwide and included a live online streaming of all keynotes.
We presented a poster with a summary and results of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 “Legal Highs Lethal Lows” harm minimisation campaign in the poster exhibition during the two days of the conference.
Visit www.drugs.org.uk and download the abstract.
Leicestershire Substance Misuse Strategic Team will be attending to the 2nd International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances that will take place in Swansea on 12th and 13th September 2013.
The conference will be hosted by the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University, in collaboration with Hertfordshire University and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
SMST is already participating in the the 2nd International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances Delegates Network site this network site is allowing us to engage with other delegates as if we were meeting in a real room.
Also, SMST will be participating in the poster session on Thursday 12th September with “Legal Highs, Lethal Lows: a local harm minimisation campaign”.
We will keep you posted on Facebook and Twitter with the conference speakers, poster sessions and networking.
For more information about the conference, visit the official website http://www.novelpsychoactivesubstances.eu
We all want to make sure our children are fully informed about legal highs and the potential dangers and most of all that they understand the importance of talking openly about them. If they perceive this is a forbidden subject they may end up getting misleading or wrong information elsewhere –including from their friends and the media.
If your child is worried about legal highs or club drugs, or is already using them, knowing that they can talk about it with you will make it easier for them to confide in you and seek your support. Good and open communication is a key part of keeping young people safe, which is why it´s important to learn how to have wise conversations with your children
Read more: Talking to your children about legal highs and club drugs-A parent´s handbook (Angelus Foundation, Adfam & Club Drugs Clinic, 2013)
PMA is a serotonergic drug of the amphetamine class, with psychedelic and antidepressant properties. Pure PMA is a white powder, but it can also appear beige, pink, or yellowish.
It is usually made into pressed pills and labeled as MDMA (‘Ecstasy’). Pills have a variety of colors or imprints: notable batches of pills containing PMA have included brands of Louis Vuitton, Mitsubishi Turbo, McDonalds, Rolex. It is usually sold in 50 mg pills. Costs range from £3 to £5 per pill.
What are the effects?
It takes approximately 30-75 minutes to experience the first effetcs. This is longer than MDMA. According to users, there is an initial rush of euphoria, before the ‘high’ is reached in a couple of hours. It increases energy, decreases appetite and heightens the users’ multisensory experience, with enhanced pleasure for music and surroundings. The effects last several (6-10) hours. It increases the heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Hallucinations can be quite strong, both visual and auditory. Users typically go on binges with PMA, taking the drug throughout the weekend and stopping its use on a Sunday to experience a crash for days.
What are the risks?
PMA can determine a serious medical emergency that may occur in course of overdose as well as at only slightly above the usual recreational dose range (over 60 mg), especially if PMA is mixed with other stimulant drugs such as cocaine or MDMA. Characteristic symptoms are pronounced hyperthermia, tachycardia, and hypertension, along with agitation, confusion, and convulsions. PMA overdose also tends to cause hypoglycemia and hyperkalemia. Complications can include rhabdomyolysis, cerebral hemorrhage, heart failure, kidney failure, seizures, coma, and a complete shutdown of the organs of the body.
ReDNet Research Group (2013). PMA Factsheet. University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield (UK).
For more information: www.novelpsychoactivesubstances.eu
A testing method to identify substances in ‘legal highs’ devised by a research team from the University of Lincoln is now being used in drug analysis laboratories across the world.
A research group from the School of Life Sciences at Lincoln is at the forefront of research in this area having developed methods for quick and conclusive analysis of legal highs.
One of the methods developed at Lincoln has now been incorporated in a UNODC manual for use by drug analysis laboratories across the world.
The method describes a microcrystalline test for the analysis of benzylpiperazine (BZP), a modern designer drug often used as a substitute for “ecstasy”.
Microcrystalline tests are quick and simple chemical tests which require only a small amount of sample and a microscope to observe the resulting crystals.
The University of Lincoln investigates microcrystalline testing to improve the technique and modernise it. The research group published microcrystalline tests for three relatively new substances and legal highs, including mephedrone, MDAI and BZP.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has published the 2013 UN World Drug Report. The report says news synthetic substances are being constantly spread via the internet. These new psychoactive substances (NPS) have not been tested for safety and pose “unforeseen public health challenges”.
Within Europe, Britain is a particularly receptive market, the UNODC says, with almost 700,000 Britons aged between 15-24 having experimented with legal highs.
“Sold openly, including via the internet, NPS can be far more dangerous than traditional drugs”
“Street names, such as spice, meow meow and bath salts mislead young people into believing that they are indulging in low-risk fun” the report adds.
Harry Shapiro, from DrugScope, said most users were festival and club-going 15 to 24 years old who were willing to experiment. But he added: “Legal highs are causing problems with young people ending up in hospital suffering panic attacks and psychosis. They are under the assumption that because they are legal, they are safe”
Visit www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk for help and advice on legal highs.
In addition to our Legal Highs Lethal Lows harm minimisation campaign, SMST has launched a digital survey to collect quantitative and qualitative information about legal highs. Enter at www.drugs.org.uk , take the survey and be entered into our prize draw to win a 16GB iPad Mini!
From today Monday 10th June, two novel psychoactive substances “legal highs” have been made illegal while government experts within the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) assess whether they should be permanently controlled. Both BenzoFury and NBOMe are now subject to a twelve month TCDO order (Temporary Class Drug Order)
The increasing use of these drugs was identified through the Forensic Early Warning System (FEWS), which was put in place to provide an early warning of potentially harmful drugs appearing in the UK by collecting and analysing new substances.
Further evidence was collected at the request of the ACMD through the government’s Drugs Early Warning System (DEWS), a network of health and law enforcement bodies which share information on new substances and provide evidence for the development of policy.
From today, those caught making, supplying or importing the drugs will face up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Police and border officials will also be allowed to search or detain anyone they suspect of having the drugs and seize, keep or dispose of a substance they think is a temporary class drug.
The UK is playing a leading role in the global and EU response to NPS. We have led the introduction of new UN resolutions to encourage international cooperation on NPS monitoring, research, analysis and forensic capability and are working collaboratively with international partners to improve intelligence on the NPS trade.
For local advice, support and information across Leicestershire & Rutland on NSPs (Legal Highs) please visit www.drugs.org.uk or www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk or contact Debbie Langham firstname.lastname@example.org
From Monday 29th April 2013 visit our Facebook page or scan the QR code to download our game for a chance to win an iPhone 5 (T&C apply).
This time even faster and harder! Avoid legal highs and alcohol and try to click when icons for dance moves and water appear. Make it past room 4 to VIP room where you will add your name to the leader-board with your point score.
Keep hydrated, sober up! This would give you 20 points! Keep dancing, that would give you 10 points! But avoid alcohol and legal highs. Each time you take them the screen will blur and shake and you will need water to make it through to the next room. Take too much and it’s GAME OVER!
Remember: stay safe, don’t take the risk.
From Monday 29th April 2013 to Friday 10th May 2013 use the hash tag #legalhighslethallows for a chance to win a £50 Nandos voucher.
Follow us on Twitter @SMST_Leics
Monday 29th April 2013 sees the launch of Phase 2 of the “Legal Highs Lethal Lows” harm minimisation campaign by Leicestershire Substance Misuse Strategic Team. The campaign aims to highlight the risks of legal highs (also known as Novel Psychoactive Substances) and recreational substance misuse. During phase 2 of the campaign we will be introducing initiatives aimed at those enjoying festivals over the summer months and university fresher weeks during September.
Legal Highs are substances which produce the same, or similar effects, to drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy but are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Legal Highs refers to a broad category of unregulated compounds or products that are marketed as legal alternatives to well-known controlled drugs.
Various initiatives will be running over a five month period across Leicestershire & Rutland to raise awareness of the effects of legal highs and offering help and support, these include: a targeted poster campaign and attendance at Glaston Budget, Download and Strawberry Fields festivals. Free giveaways and the re-launch of our downloadable phone application game “life is a dance floor” with a competition to win the new iPhone 5. Our Twitter campaign will continue with daily news and tweets and partners are encouraged to use our hash tag #legalhighslethallows. Once again we will be working closely with our partners at Leicestershire Police, district and borough community safety partnerships, Swanswell and public health to ensure our communities across Leicestershire and Rutland are aware of the harms of legal highs.
Phase 2 of the “Legal Highs Lethal Lows” campaign will run from 29th April 2013 until 30th September. For more information on the campaign please visit www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk or contact Debbie Langham on 0116 3052680 / email@example.com
Three teenagers were rushed to hospital last weekend vomiting blood after taking a legal high known as Clockwork Orange Herbal Incense in Northumberland.
Superintendent Alan Veitch said: “We want people to be aware of the dangers of taking drugs, including so called legal highs” “I would like to stress that the use of legal high drugs is not safe and can kill or have a devastating impact on people’s health”
New Zealand’s doctors are being told to consider testing patients who use legal highs for kidney and cardiac problems, after three young people suffered kidney damage from smoking synthetic cannabis this month.
“There is a potential for severe and permanent toxic injury with smoked or ingested synthetic cannabinoid drugs”, Dr Humphrey says in a press release.
Synthetic cannabinoids are known to cause anxiety, vomiting, chest pain, headaches and, more in severe cases, seizures, psychosis, heart attacks and kidney failure.
“Ingredients are not disclosed by manufacturers and as far as we are aware these drugs have not had proper safety testing” he says.
Read more about it here
Benzo Fury could be as dangerous as illegal drugs such as ecstasy, a new study has revealed. The pills, which can be bought over the Internet for £10 each or £25 for three, are addictive and could cause high blood pressure.
Benzo Fury is currently one of the most popular legal highs in the UK. Experts say its side effects include loss of appetite, hallucinations and paranoia.
The researchers said the findings, due to be presented at the British Neuroscience Association Festival of Neuroscience today, should act as a warning to potential users.
Dr Opacka-Juffry said: “They are attractive to many people who enjoy the “mind altering” properties of hallucinogens. But Benzo Fury with its mixed properties is a trap as its repetitive use for the hallucinogenic effects could lead to dependence, which the user may not expect”
It appears to be a synthetic cannabinoid similar to the drug “Spice”. Such substances imitate the effects of marijuana, relaxing users and giving them a “trippy” sensation, although they do not contain any of the same ingredients as the natural drug.
It is sold in a clear tube labelled “Sky High”, with no indication of what the product actually contains.
17-year-old Nicole had been behaving increasingly erratically for months, she has kicked in walls and ripped panels off doors at her family home in Blackburn and her panic attacks mean she can no longer sleep on her own.
Nicole’s family had no idea what was triggering her mood swings until she admitted she had been regularly smoking the synthetic cannabis drug over the past year.
Her dad attempted to persuade staff to stop selling the legal high to the underage girl, but when he raised his voice at workers in the shop in Aberdeen he was arrested and handed an on-the=spot fine of £40 for shouting at staff.
Read more about it here
5-IAI is a drug which appears to have effects similar to ecstasy, including sociability, increased energy, enhanced sensory appreciation e.g. to music
Some limited reports of increased heart rate and sweating as well as agitation and anxiety. Other negative effects may include fatigue, insomnia and nausea.
Data source: RedNet Research Group
Salvia divinorum is a psychoactive plant sold as live plants, dried leaves, powder or extract in liquid form; its active constituent is called Salvinorin A which is considered the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen.
Salvia divinorum causes brief vivid hallucinations rapidly after administration, whilst other effects are synaesthesia, increased insight, improved mood, calmness, weird thoughts, bizarre non-Euclidian dimensions hallucinations, and a physical sensation of pressure on the body.
Some users report a “reverse-tolerance” or sensitization, where less of the chemical is subsequently required to produce the same subjective effects.
The physical effects may include: hypertension, tachycardia, visual alterations and unpleasant hallucinations, anxiety, uncontrollable laughter, sensation of motion respiratory difficulties, panic attack, paranoid feeling, “bad trips”.
Data source: RedNet Research Group
A “legal high” drug was blamed for pupils falling ill at the National Church of England Academy in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, last week.
Police were called to the school at 2.10pm on Friday 8th March 2013 following reports of a number of pupils feeling sick and dizzy.
Test revealed the youngsters, aged between 11 and 15, had smoked salvia. Dr John Edwards said two pupils were taken to hospital as a precaution and sent home the same evening.
Sgt Simon Scales said: “Users cannot be clear what ingredients are in them and they can cause unpredictable reactions, as seen at the National Academy”
A 15-year-old schoolgirl suffers panic attacks and anxiety from a drug known as “Blue Cheese”.
Paige Smith, of Colchester, Essex, said she bought the drug –which is legally available to over-18s- without ID from a shop in the town after friends introduced her to legal highs five months ago.
She became addicted and spent more than £200 buying the brightly-packaged recreational drugs over the counter before she was taken to hospital after feeling “instantly weird and shaky”.
An A&E consultant at Colchester General Hospital in Essex this week said he had treated four teenagers who had collapsed in recent weeks. All had taken legal highs.
Read more in this link
MPA is chemically related to amphetamine with effects very similar to those experienced with amphetamine/methamphetamine including increased energy and alertness.
Although reports are scarce, the link with powerful stimulants like methamphetamine puts the regular user at risk from a range of physical and psychological impacts including heart and circulatory problems, anxiety, paranoid ideation and dependence.
Data source: RedNet Research Group
MDAI also known as “Sparky” or “Minday” is a drug with similar effects to ecstasy which came online around 2009 and was widely marketed after the UK ban on mephedrone in 2010.
The effects appear to be similar to ecstasy (MDMA), most likely inducing synaptic boost of serotonin. The desired effects include increased levels of empathy and sociability, intensification of sensory experience stimulation, mild psychedelic experiences, alleged libido enhancement and a brief antidepressant effect.
The side effects reported are insomnia, nausea/vomiting and confusion; probably, MDAI shares the same cardiovascular and psychiatric disturbances risks of ecstasy.
Recently a police inquest reported that MDAI contributed to a death of 17-year-old girl in the Isle of Man.
Data source: RedNet Research Group
This legal high first appeared on retail sites in January 2011. It appears to be legal in most countries, but may be covered by federal generic legislation in the USA.
The effects are similar to that experienced with ecstasy, but a stronger sense of wellbeing and energy; euphoria and empathy. The psychedelic experiences for 6-APB may be more intense than MDA and MDMA. The euphoria could be followed by a wave of sadness.
This drug appears to be very potent with significant physical and psychological side effects. All the following have been reported across several cases:
- Prolonged rapid heart beat
- High blood pressure
- Liver damage
- Excessive jaw clenching/head shaking
- High temperature
- Severe nausea and sickness
- Panic attacks
- Severe paranoid symptoms
For more info about legal highs visit our website www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk
Following advice from the government’s independent drug experts, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), new synthetic cannabinoids (such as those contained in Black Mamba and Annihilation), O-desmethyltramadol, methoxetamine (sold as Mexxy) and similar compounds have been classified as Class B under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Since March 2012, methoxetamine was subject to the UK’s first temporary class drug order following advice from the ACMD.
In its advice on methoxetamine the ACMD indicated that the temporary ban may have had “real and immediate impact on tackling internet sales of methoxetamine with a significant proportion of UK websites ceasing to advertise its sale”.
The Psychoactive Substances Bill introduced to Parliament today will mean legal highs have to be proved safe before they can be sold, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has announced.
“Producers of products such as synthetic cannabis and party pills will no longer be able to play with the health of young New Zealanders”, he said.
The law is expected to be in place by August to replace the current temporary class drug notices regime, which has taken more than 30 substances and 50 products off the market.
The Bill will include provisions for:
- A regulatory authority within the Health Ministry to:
o Consider and approve or decline psychoactive substances
o Issue a manufacturing code of practice
o Issue importation, manufacturing and sale licences
o Conduct post-marketing monitoring, audit and recall functions
- Establish an expert advisory committee to provide the authority with technical advice
- Set offences and penalties under the Bill, including up to two years imprisonment for some offences, and fines of up to $500,000
- Restrict sale of products to those under 18, and place restrictions and prohibitions on places of sale
- Establish an appeals committee.
Questions and Answers on the Psychoactive Substances Bill at: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1302/S00401/dunne-psychoactive-substances-bill-a-game-changer.htm
1. Know the law: you may still be arrested if you are found with a legal high
2. Don’t trust suppliers: what you buy is not always what they say it is
3. Understand the risks: legal highs are just as dangerous as illegal drugs
4. Do your research: find out all you can before you use a legal high
5. Avoid heat-stroke: stay cool when using stimulants- know what to do in an emergency
6. Don’t use alone: it is safer to have someone with you
7. Look after your mates: in the same way you would want them to look after you
8. Ask for help: There are always people who can help you
Read more about: http://www.exchangesupplies.org/shopdisp_LH2.php
Investigators from the National Institute of Health Sciences in Tokyo have conducted a research of drug buying on the Internet, also netting and identifying 12 more synthetic cannabinoids, heretofore unseen in the market for non-THC marijuana substitutes. Japan, like the U.S. and Europe, has been attempting to outlaw these problem compounds.
A “completely new type of designer drug, URB-754,” was identified. It is a new synthetic cannabis compound, and the researchers found it packaged together with a cathinone derivative called 4-Me-MABP. The authors of the paper express concern about the “reactive nature of both compounds” that comprise the new hybrid, but refrain from making any predictions about its effects. “There is little information about most of the newly detected compounds,” the authors write. “Furthermore, the recent trend seems to be to mix different types of designer drugs such as cathinones (stimulants) or tryptamines (hallucinogens) with synthetic cannabinoids in illegal products. Therefore, there is the potential for serious health risks associated with their use.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (USA), 16 cases of acute kidney injury were reported in 2012 in six American states after people smoked synthetic marijuana. The patients became sick within days and sometimes even hours after smoking. Their symptoms included nausea and vomiting as well as abdominal and flank pain. They were found to be in various stages of kidney failure.
These drugs have been linked to health problems such as agitation, hallucinations and rapid heart rates, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (USA).
23-year-old laboratory assistant, Richard, was found dead in January 2012 after police had to break into his flat at Beamsley House in Shipley (West Yorkshire).
The recent inquest in Bradford heard although Richard had died from poisoning caused by mercury he had taken from his workplace, he also had levels of a drug called Phenazepam in his system, which he had had been legally obtaining from a company in Hong Kong. Phenazepam was made a Class C drug on 13th June 2012, unfortunately Richard died in January 2013 when Richard purchased online.
His parents believe the substance –supposed to relieve anxiety- made him paranoid and his problems worse. Now the couple are urging anyone tempted to self-medicate via the internet, or who are suffering from depression or low self-esteem, to talk about it to friends or family and to ask for help.
Read more: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.keighleynews.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fnews_keighley%2F10213580.Warning_over_legal_highs_after_Harden_man_s_death%2F&h=OAQFg-q_zAQGsoSwNklfPCoE-uwvf0RVpStvUckbqOCwIlQ&enc=AZOHIEzkCz8fLK8dMg1pmzusNFSryMAF3Nd3vtDlMb8-dWnNdFVLGlRdhDLUsxuDK1MNUt76-xYdLGBs84VB7c0G&s=1
For more information about legal highs, please visit www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk
5-(2-aminopropyl)indole belongs to the tryptamine family, many of which are hallucinogenic.
The EMCDDA-Europol Joint Report on this new psychoactive substance states:
• Reports from seizures and collected samples have noted the presence of 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole in: brown, pale/light brown or beige powders; beige tablets bearing markings resembling the Lexus logo; brown glittery tablets; blue/green unmarked tablets; blue unmarked tablets commercially packaged as “Benzo Fury”; capsules; and, in residues on a spoon and in the liquid recovered from a syringe.
• Two Member States (Sweden and the United Kingdom) reported a total of 15 non-fatal intoxications associated with 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole :
• Three Member States (Sweden, the United Kingdom and Hungary) reported a total of 21 deaths associated with 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole:
• Some Internet retailers offer 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole as a drug in its own right. This has been confirmed by collected samples and is supported by discussions on Internet drug user forums. Additionally, the United Kingdom reported that seized samples of branded products labelled as ‘BENZO FURY’ from a bricks and mortar head shop contained 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole. Information from non-fatal intoxications and deaths reported by Sweden and the United Kingdom suggests that some individuals may have been exposed to 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole as a result of using products labelled as ‘Benzo Fury’ or ‘6-APB’. However, the prevalence of 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole in such products relative to other substances is not known.
• Data from the 2011 Mixmag survey (a non-probabilistic convenience sample Internet survey commissioned by the UK dance music magazine Mixmag, n=2560) found that self-reported lifetime and last year prevalence of use of ‘Benzofury’ in this group was 2.7 % and 2.3 % respectively.
• Several countries have noted that 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole is offered for retail sale as a ‘research chemical’ on the Internet. Germany reported that 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole is offered for sale alongside other new psychoactive substances (www.benzo-fury.me.uk, www.highstore.net and www.buckledbonzi.co.uk). Italy also reported a similar observation and noted that 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole could be bought for GBP22.50 for 500 milligrams (http://www. officialbenzofury.com/products /5%252dIT.html) and GBP9.50 for 100 milligrams (http:// vip-legals.com/buy-5it-powder; http://www.lookchem.com/5-2-Aminopropyl-indole/). The United Kingdom noted that 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole was sold as a ‘unique product’, structurally ‘similar to AMT’ with ‘euphoric effects similar to 5-APB’. They reported that 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole could be purchased in the form of capsules containing 100 milligrams (e.g. http://www.wide-mouth-frogs. com/5-it-caps.html) GBP26.00 for 10 capsules or GBP100.00 for 50 capsules. Powders also appeared to be offered for sale at GBP10.20 for 250 milligrams (discounted from GBP12.00; http://www.benzofury.me.uk/index/155) or in bulk powder GBP6000.00 for 1 kilogram (e.g. http://www.plantfoodpalace.com/5-it/page/2/). It was offered for sale in combination with AMT by one retailer at a cost of GBP38.00 for 500 milligrams.
• In addition to the information given above, the United Kingdom commented that at the time of reporting, 5-(2-aminopropyl)indole is ‘not included or has been removed from the stocklist of a number of the more well-known retailers’. They further comment that ‘it is unknown whether this is related to lack of availability from wholesalers or importers or due to adverse media attention concerning the drug.
More information at: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/joint-reports/5-IT
Phase1 of the "Legal Highs, Lethal Lows" (December 2012 & January 2013) harm minimisation campaign has ended. The following presentation shows the summary of the statistics of the website campaign www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk and the social media (Twitter & Facebook).
SMST are already working on new initiatives for the Phase2 of the campaign throughout the spring/summer aimed at music festivals and student freshers weeks.
For more information on the campaign or to request resources within your area, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Only 2 weeks left to enter in our Life is a Dance Floor competition for a chance to win an iPad mini!
Visit our Facebook page or scan the QR code to download our game with your smart-phone now!
Who will get the top score??
If you need help, advice and support for legal highs or substance misuse over the Christmas period our local Leicestershire and Rutland commissioned service Swanswell have just released their Xmas bank holiday opening hours and available services;
25th December, 2012 - Phone service available at all offices 9:00am - 5:00pm - 0300 303 5000
26th December, 2012 - Phone service available at all offices plus drop in services at Coalville & Loughborough - 0300 303 5000
1st January, 2013 - Phone service available at all offices plus drop in services at Coalville & Loughborough - 0300 303 5000
If you are not local to Leicestershire & Rutland please call 0800 77 66 00 to TALK TO FRANK or visit www.talktofrank.com
Do you want to win the new iPad MINI? Scan the QR code and start playing our game “life is a dance floor” or visit our Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/LegalHighLethalLow (terms and conditions apply).
The app consists of a tap-screen game where timing is key. Avoid legal highs and alcohol and try to click when icons for dance moves and water appear. Make it past room 4 to the VIP room where you will add your name to the leader-board with your point score.
Keep hydrated, sober up! This would give you 20 points! Keep dancing, that would give you 10 points! But avoid Alcohol and Legal Highs. Each time you take them the screen will blur and shake and you’ll need water to make it through to the next room. Take too much and it’s GAME OVER!
Do you listen to Takeover Radio Leicester (103.2)??? Check out for the SMST “Legal Highs, Lethal Lows” harm minimisation campaign on the Breakfast Show (7am-10am) Monday to Friday, “The Edge” (7pm-10pm) and “Ferry Corsten” (7pm-10pm) on alternative Friday nights, and “Triple Dee” (7pm-10pm) on Saturday nights.
Keep listening to Takeover Radio and find out how to win the new Ipad MINI playing our game “Life is a Dance Floor” using your smart-phone or PC.
And remember: stay safe, don’t take the risk.
Paul Stratton, senior public health manager for NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland, said: "Many young people think that because the substance is legal it is safe.
"Drugs intended for human consumption must be regulated under the medicines act and therefore undergo rigorous testing to determine how they can be used safely.
"Most legal highs are illegal to sell, supply or advertise for human consumption because of their effects on the body.
"However, because producers of synthetic drugs claim these products are not intended for human consumption, they can be sold unregulated.
"This means that when you put the drug into your body, you are taking a real risk with your health."
Two substances which are said to give users dangerous "legal highs" are to be made illegal class B drugs - with users facing up to five years in jail.
Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne says black mamba and methoxetamine, often known as mexxy, will be banned.
This comes after the government's drugs advisers found they posed dangerous risks to health.
Mexxy was linked to two deaths and police have warned of the "life-threatening effects" of black mamba.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20163832
Do you listen to Takeover Radio Leicester (103.2)??? Check out from today for the SMST “Legal Highs, Lethal Lows” harm minimisation campaign on the Breakfast Show (7am-10am) Monday to Friday, “The Edge” (7pm-10pm) and “Ferry Corsten” (7pm-10pm) on alternative Friday nights, and “Triple Dee” (7pm-10pm) on Saturday nights.
Keep listening to Takeover Radio to find out how to win the new Ipad MINI playing our game “Life is a Dance Floor” using your smart-phone or PC.
And remember: stay safe, don’t take the risk.
Today, Monday 3rd December 2012 sees the launch of the “Legal Highs Lethal Lows” harm minimisation campaign by Leicestershire & Rutland Substance Misuse Strategic Team (SMST). The campaign aims to highlight the risks of legal highs (also known as Novel Psychoactive Substances) and recreational substance misuse, particularly to those enjoying the night time economy over the Christmas holidays when alcohol consumption also increases.
Legal Highs are substances which produce the same, or similar effects, to drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy but are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Legal Highs refers to a broad category of unregulated compounds or products that are marketed as legal alternatives to well-known controlled drugs.
Paul Stratton, Senior Public Health Manager for NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland said “Many young people think that because the substance is legal it is safe. Drugs intended for human consumption must be regulated under the medicines act and therefore undergo rigorous testing to determine how they can be used safely. Most legal highs are illegal to sell, supply or advertise for human consumption because of their effects on the body. However because producers of synthetic drugs claim these products are not intended for human consumption, they can be sold unregulated. This means that when you put the drug into your body, you are taking a real risk with your health. I welcome this campaign that will hopefully educate young people and others to make an informed choice before they risk their health”
Various initiatives will be running over an eight week period across Leicestershire & Rutland to raise awareness of the effects of legal highs and offering help and support, these include: a poster campaign within local bars, taxis, educational establishments and drug and alcohol treatment services across the County, launch of a free downloadable phone application game “life is a dance floor” with a competition to win the new Apple IPAD mini in partnership with Takeover Radio and local youth website The Jitty. Daily news and tweets will also be posted via the SMST Facebook and Twitter pages and via the dedicated campaign website at www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk.
Jo Woods, Regional Development Manager for Swanswell in Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “We’re pleased to be part of a campaign that raises awareness of the real dangers associated with taking legal highs. Legal highs are becoming increasingly popular and in many cases are the drug of choice on the club scene – yet many people take them without realising the harm they can cause, especially if mixed with other drugs or alcohol. If you want to know more about the risks of legal highs or are worried about someone else’s use, get in touch with Swanswell on 0300 303 5000”
Superintendent Andy Lee lead for Drugs and Alcohol Misuse at Leicestershire Police said: “When you go to a chemist to buy a pharmaceutical product, you can be assured that what you are about to take has been tested and is fit for human consumption. There are no such guarantees with legal highs. Legal highs discovered during police raids and crime scene investigations are often found to contain illegal substances. The true long-term harm caused by these substances will not be known for some time to come, they are best avoided. Leicestershire Police support the SMST Legal Highs Lethal Lows campaign.”
The harms of legal highs are multi-faceted. Health services including commissioned drug and alcohol treatment services locally are starting to see health and other problems caused by regular use of these drugs and new substances are emerging each week. Debra Cunningham, Strategic Manager for SMST said “Working with our colleagues from Leicestershire Police, Leicestershire & Rutland Primary Care Trust and our Borough/District councils, we continue to work to reduce the harms caused by substance misuse”
The “Legal Highs Lethal Lows” campaign will run from 3rd December 2012, until the end of January, 2013 and then be followed by a number of initiatives throughout the spring/summer aimed at music festivals and student freshers weeks.
For more information on the campaign or to request resources within your area, please contact Debbie Langham on 0116 3052680 or via email@example.com.
New psychoactive substances have a careful chemical composition that puts them on the right side of the law, often mixing legal and banned substances.
Others make it on to the market unchallenged due to the lack of testing capability.
They can be bought easily online or at clubs and festivals, an accessibility that makes them popular with many young people.
Though legal, the harm, both physical and psychological, they can cause mirrors those substances banned by the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act.
The scale of the problem that drugs such as ketamine, mephedrone and GHB or GBL are causing to people who take them is growing. However, there has only been a small increase in club drug presentations within treatment agencies from National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) data. Existing drug treatment centres were set up mainly to tackle more established drugs such as heroin and crack.
Dr Owen Bowden-Jones has set up the Club Drug Clinic in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (London). They receive referrals (including self-referrals) from all over the country, not just within London. They offer information and advice, assessment of substance use, physical and psychological problems, key-working, specific medical and psychological treatments and support for relatives.
Dr Bowden-Jones talks about “new” drugs such as mephedrone, ketamine and “legal highs” and increasing sales via the internet.
Have a look at his presentation at the City Health Conference 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4o4acqA5GM
Read more: http://www.drugs.org.uk/news/73-club-drugs
While overall drug use has declined in England, there has been an increase in those needing treatment for ‘club drugs’ such as ketamine and mephedrone in the last six years, the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) revealed today as it releases a report containing the first ever treatment data on club drugs. Club drug users make up just 2% of adults in treatment and 10% of young people in specialist services.
The NTA warned that whilst the numbers needing help remain small compared to heroin and crack, the data showed that it was clear that use of club drugs, which many start as a lifestyle choice, can lead to significant health problems or a dependency. Experts interviewed for the report described how heavy use of ketamine for example can turn into dependency with physical effects such as bladder pain and damage.
The report, Club drugs: emerging trends and risks, reveals the numbers of adults and under 18s who have sought help for problems with substances such as ecstasy, ketamine, methamphetamine, GHB/ GBL and mephedrone.
The NTA report ‘Club Drugs: Emerging Trends and Risks’ is available here or email firstname.lastname@example.org The statistical release, tables and pre-release access list are available at (www.nta.nhs.uk/statistics.aspx)
This briefing provides an overview of novel psychoactive compounds or “Research Chemicals” in the UK. It is not intended to provide detailed information on each compound or a list of all such compounds. Where substances have become sufficiently popular or enough is known about them separate briefings will be available on the KFx site and elsewhere. Look up charts of key drugs are also available on the KFx site.
This report and most drugs professionals eschew the term “Legal Highs.” Many of the compounds that are of interest are not legal. Some never were; others have been made illegal recently. As the remaining ones gain popularity and media attention they too are likely to be prohibited. Not all the compounds are euphoriants or stimulants; they may be depressant drugs or anaesthetics. As such the term “legal high” may be doubly erroneous.
A report for the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths revealed 43 people in the UK died after taking now-outlawed methcathinones in 2010, compared with five in 2009.
The group includes mephedrone or "meow meow", which alone caused 29 deaths.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20217967
NIDA research published in today’s Neuropsychopharmacology shows that MDPV, a synthetic chemical commonly found in the drugs referred to as “bath salts,” is potentially more dangerous than cocaine when tested in rodents.
"Designer drugs", "legal highs" or "bath salts" - whatever they are labelled as, psychoactive substances have become a major concern in all regions of the world, particularly given their considerable public health consequences and their potentially even fatal effects.
The term "new psychoactive substances" covers a wide range of substances that often have pharmacological properties and effects similar to those of internationally controlled drugs. This diverse group includes synthetic cathinones, which are similar in structure to amphetamines and synthetic cannabinoids in mimicking the effects of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis. Piperazines, often sold as ecstasy, are another group of new psychoactive substances that were first encountered in established markets for amphetamine-type stimulants.
While new drugs have always appeared on illicit drug markets, the pace at which such substances have emerged in recent years has accelerated considerably. Last year in Europe alone, 49 new psychoactive substances were reported to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
Legal Highs are substances which produce the same, or similar effects, to drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, but are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
“Legal highs” refers to a broad category of unregulated psychoactive compounds or products containing them that are marketed as legal alternatives to well-known controlled drugs
Although they are marketed as legal substances, this doesn’t mean that they are safe or approved for people to use. Some drugs marketed as legal highs actually contain some ingredients that are illegal to possess. The chemicals they contain have in most cases never been used in drugs for human consumption before, so haven’t been tested to show that they are safe.
Just because a drug is legal to possess, it doesn’t mean its safe. Legal highs produce reduced inhibitions, drowsiness, excited or paranoid states, coma, seizures and in the worst cases, death. The risks are increased if used with alcohol or other drugs.
Legal highs are sold via the internet or in smart shops or head shops. They can be marketed as bath salts, plant food or incense and are usually marked “not for human consumption”.
A report for the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths revealed 43 people in the UK died after taking legal highs in 2010, compared with 5 in 2009.
Alcohol is a depressant. This means it slows down the nervous system which controls the heart and breathing rate. Mixing alcohol with any drug, including legal ones, can seriously upset your body. You increase the risk to yourself if you combine alcohol with any legal or illegal substance that causes a high, including the risk of death.
The number of people seeking help for legal highs has increased significantly in the UK. The number of people of Leicestershire and Rutland seeking treatment for addiction to legal highs remains low around a 2% of the total of substance misusers but this is also increasing.
There are already a large number of legal highs on the market. New substances are continually emerging, bringing with them renewed concerns about their chemical composition and the potential harmful effects.
Drug legislation is constantly changing. Therefore legal high traders are constantly adapting their products to keep the law on side. So your new legal purchase might look the same and be packaged the same as your last, but it could be a completely different substance which increases the risk to your health. Legal highs are just as risky as illegal drugs, you do not know what you are getting.
If you live within Leicestershire & Rutland you can access help, advice and support via our legal highs website at www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk or by contacting us on email@example.com or you may wish to contact our treatment provider in the area Swanswell on 0300 303 5000. If you live in Leicester City or outside of Leicestershire you can access help from the Talk to Frank Website at www.talktofrank.com or via their helpline on 0800 77 66 00.
You can talk to them and explain why you are worried about their legal high use. Local services can provide in-depth help and support for people using substances and those affected by someone else’s use. Please visit the contact us page on www.legalhighslethallows.co.uk. You can also suggest they talk to FRANK on 0800 77 66 00.
‘Legal highs’ are substances which produce similar effects to illegal drugs but that are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Just the fact that a substance is sold as “legal”, doesn’t mean that it’s safe - regardless of any “brand name”, the actual contents can vary greatly and you can’t really be sure what’s in a ‘legal high’ that you’ve bought, or been given, or what effect it’s likely to have on you.
Also, some drugs sold as ‘legal highs’ have been found to contain one or more substances that are, in fact, illegal. The truth is that you cannot be 100% sure what they will contain. A number of substances previously referred to as “legal highs” have now been banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act, for example mephedrone, Black Mamba and Mexxy. Being in possession of or supplying a controlled drug is an offence. Please contact us for further information on legal highs and the law.
Please check out our external links which include useful sites to give you more information on legal highs.
The Leicestershire Substance Misuse Strategic Team have launched the “Legal Highs Lethal Lows” harm minimisation campaign to highlight the risks of legal highs (also known as Novel Psychoactive Substances) and recreational substance misuse, particularly to those enjoying the night time economy when alcohol consumption also increases. The harms of legal highs are multi-faceted. Health services including our commissioned drug and alcohol treatment services are starting to see health and other problems caused by regular use of these drugs and new substances are emerging each week. Working with our colleagues from Leicestershire Police, Leicestershire & Rutland Primary Care Trust and our Borough/District councils, we continue to work to reduce the harms caused by substance misuse.
During the launch we will be circulating information about the societal costs of dealing with issues relating to legal high use. Analysis of the unit costs to services dealing with overdose has been undertaken (with a large proportion being linked to alcohol consumption alongside substance misuse). These costs include ambulance call outs, A&E admissions, hospital bed occupations and outpatient treatment and highlight the need for preventative campaigns around this growing issue. On average the following costs can apply;
• The average cost of an emergency ambulance call out is £244.00
• The average cost of an A & E attendance is £100.00
• The average cost per night to occupy a hospital bed is £569.00
• The average cost of treatment provided per visit is £112.00
Therefore we can estimate a cost of approx. £1,025 per person if all of the above is required. For just one night. The majority of admissions for legal highs require at least one night occupying a bed whilst effects subside therefore this would be a minimum cost. This does not include the costs if the individual requires treatment from substance misuse services.