Supplier feared a customer would die
A LEGAL HIGH drug dealer today uncovers the full horrifying extent of the deadly trade - and tells how the latest variety nearly cost him his life.
The supplier warns that FIVE new super-strength chemical substances are already flooding into Britain.
He reveals that he suffered 60 hours of hell after roadtesting one of them.
And, chillingly, he predicts the Government will never keep up with the ever-changing concoctions - linked to two more deaths last week.
The dealer - we are calling him Lee to protect his real identity - made thousands selling the drugs online and via Twitter.
But he finally came to his senses after taking Benzo Fury - and getting a taste of his own medicine.
"I thought I was going to die," he says. "It was supposed to be similar to ecstasy but it was 30 minutes of pleasure and 59½ hours of hell."
Benzo Fury was launched three weeks ago and its popularity is booming.
"It was quite possibly the most harrowing experience of my life," he told us. "My heart was beating like crazy. I thought I was going to die.
"I went and lay in bed for 12 hours, then got up and came downstairs again. This went on for 60 hours. During the whole time I didn't sleep once and I didn't eat a thing.
"I suffered from severe paranoia and severe depression. It was terrifying.
"I thought, 'My God - my customers have got this stuff. I need to take my sites down.' "
Last week the Government pledged to introduce temporary bans on new legal highs rather than wait for confirmation that the substances were dangerous.
Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire promised: "It allows us to act straight away to stop new substances gaining a foothold."
Lee, though, is unimpressed. "The Government have no idea," he said. "By the time they hear about the legal highs the producers have already slightly changed the chemical compound to make a new substance that is legal.
"The online marketing is ready to launch the new product on a new website with a host of pre-orders. The market is growing so fast it is frightening. A new substance comes on the market each month to replace banned ones."
Lee revealed that as well as Benzo Fury, four more legal highs - 5-IAI, MDAT, MDAI and Dimethocaine - are poised to flood in. "You can make a fortune if you are good at internet marketing," he said.
Lee, who learned his IT skills in the Army, earned up to £3,000 a week setting up a string of drug sites and using Twitter to keep in touch with customers.
Sitting in his terraced house in the West Midlands, he showed us online receipts for payments he received for his goods, and the links from where he bought the drugs.
"For the customers it's as easy as ordering a takeaway," he said. "You just place the order and we pop it in an envelope for next day delivery."
Lee predicts Benzo Fury will replace Ivory Wave - the £15-a-time drug taken by Michael Bishton, 24, before he plunged to his death off a cliff on the Isle of Wight last weekend.
In another legal high related tragedy, an inquest heard how make-up artist Kathleen Macken, 20, died after a friend put Meow Meow in her drink.
Lee believes many more deaths will follow. "No one knows what the long term effects are," he said.
"I think you have got to be mad to take this stuff - and I used to sell it."
Banned... then rebranded
DRUG dealers are selling off their stockpiles of banned Meow Meow - by packaging them as legal high Ivory Wave.
Ken Checinski, medical advisor of the charity, Addaction, told the News of the World that mephedrone is still being supplied to buyers who don't think they are breaking the law.
"Ivory Wave is essentially formed from banned substances," he said. "And NRG-1 is often cut with mephedrone. "People are playing Russian roulette with what they get.
"Users of legal highs tend to be more naive because it's a different population from hardened drug takers."
By Dominic Herbert, 22/08/2010
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"60-hr legal high nearly killed me... so I quit dealing"