What are legal highs?
So called legal highs are a cocktail of chemicals, that are designed to produce the same or similar effects as illegal drugs like cocaine ecstasy or cannabis. The psychoactive substances contain one, two or more different chemical ingredients some of which are illegal.
The legal highs are sold in high street shops and some websites from internet. They are often being sold as bath salts, research chemicals or plant food and advertised as ” Not for human consumption”
According to BBC news legal highs claimed the life of 67 people in England just in 2015.
What are the effects of legal highs?
The main effects of legal highs according to Drug advisory service Frank can be described using 3 categories
- Stimulants (like mephedrone, naphyrone, now banned)
Stimulants produce some effects as amphetamine (speed), cocaine and ecstasy. They make you feel energised physically active, fast thinking and euphoric.
- Downer or sedatives legal highs ( like synthetic cannabis now banned)
Sedative legal highs produce similar effects like cannabis and drugs as diazepam or valium. They can make you feel euphoric, relaxed and sleepy.
- Psychedelic legal highs
Psychedelic legal highs produce effects like LSD, magic mushrooms, ketamine. They make feel euphoric and hallucinate (seeing and hearing things that never happened)
The risks of using legal highs.
Just because a substance is sold as “legal” it doesn’t mean that is safe and legal. The risks of using legal highs can increase if you combine them with alcohol or with another psychoactive substance.
Stimulants legal highs will produce same effects of amphetamine (speed), cocaine or ecstasy. You will feel paranoia, anxiety over confident. This type of drug can put a strain in your heart and nervous system.
Downer or sedatives legal highs can reduce your concentration and inhibitions, slow down your actions make you unsteady and forgetful and putting your safety at risk. In heavy users the medical help will be needed.
Psychedelic or hallucinate legal highs cause confusion, panic and erratic behaviour. You feel like your body and your mind are separated. You also might risk hurting yourself.
For last ten years an average of five new legal drugs come on to market each year. Whilst the government was focusing the fight on illegal drugs ( heroine cocaine etc), the mephedrone appeared on scene. Cheap, legal and available online in 2010 it has become the fourth most popular drug on the market after ecstasy,marijuana and cocaine. It was banned on April that year.
As Britain is the country that uses more psychoactive drugs than any other country in Europe is often called the Capital of legal highs.
The government has announced a new blanket ban on many of legal highs, including “herbal ecstasy” and synthetic cannabis”.
Organisations which campaigned for blanket ban on the controversial party drugs now voice fears that it will not protect young people. There should be more education and public awareness about them chemical substances.
But as telegraph reports: “I suspect it boils down to money again. As the man said “if you thought education was expensive try ignorance”.