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Deaths from legal highs soar 80 per cent in just one year

By ianzombie, Aug 29, 2013 | Updated: Aug 29, 2013 | | |
  1. ianzombie
    Deaths from legal highs soar 80 per cent in just one year with one person every week dying from the party drugs

    Deaths involving legal highs increased by 80 per cent last year – to one every week.
    Figures from the Office for National Statistics show fatalities relating to the psychoactive substances rose from 29 in 2011 to 52 in 2012 – compared to 22 in 2010.
    Drugs such as 'meow meow', 'Black Mamba' and 'Benzo Fury' were all legal when they were first produced, but have since been outlawed.

    Danger: 'Legal highs' such as mephedrone killed 52 people in England and Wales last year
    View attachment 34678

    However, banning the substances has had no effect on the number of deaths they have caused, which increased from 29 in 2011 to 52 in 2012, according to the Office for National Statistics.
    Among legal highs, deaths involving a substance called cathinone tripled from six in 2011 to 18 in 2012.

    Bad habits cost 1m lost years: Study finds 50,000 people a year die two decades too soon from causes that could be prevented by a better lifestyle
    Thousands dying of thirst on NHS: Watchdog forced to issue guidelines on giving patients water
    The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs advises the Government on whether a drug should be banned or reclassified.
    This process led to new synthetic cannabinoids - such as those sold under the name Black Mamba - and methoxetamine, sold as 'Mexxy', being made Class B drugs last year.

    Deaths: Alex Herriot, left, died at a festival in Scotland last year while Adam Hunt, right, collapsed and died this month; both had taken synthetic party drugs
    View attachment 34681 View attachment 34679

    And in June this year, NBOMe and Benzo Fury, two groups of legal highs, were banned for 12 months using a temporary class drug order after advice from the ACMD.
    The best-known 'legal high' is mephedrone, known as 'MCAT' or 'meow meow', which was banned in 2010 but is still widely used as a party drug.
    'Painful lessons': Twenty-year-old Aimee Costello (pictured) died after taking the former legal high M-Cat on a night out last year

    Casualty: 20-year-old Aimee Costello died after taking mephedrone on a night out last year
    View attachment 34677

    Among those who died last year after taking synthetic drugs was Alex Herriot, a 19-year-old who collapsed at a music festival in Scotland in June soon after taking Benzo Fury.
    Another was 20-year-old Aimee Costello, who died following a night out during which she snorted MCAT given to her by friends
    A 15-year-old boy, Ben O'Neill, raped a pensioner in August after consuming a cocktail of vodka and mephedrone.
    The fatalities continued this year, as just this month football-loving teenager Adam Hunt died after he took a legal high called AMT which was imported from the Netherlands.
    In its bulletin on deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales in 2012, the ONS also revealed the number of deaths involving painkiller tramadol has more than doubled since 2008 to 175 in 2012.
    There were 1,706 male drug poisoning deaths - involving both legal and illegal drugs - registered in 2012, a four per cent decrease since 2011.
    Female drug poisoning deaths have increased every year since 2009, reaching 891 in 2012, the ONS said.
    The number of male drug misuse deaths involving illegal drugs decreased by nine per cent from 1,192 in 2011 to 1,086 in 2012, while female deaths decreased by one per cent from 413 in 2011 to 410 in 2012.
    The highest mortality rate from drug misuse was in 30- to 39-year-olds, at 97.8 and 28.9 deaths per million population for males and females respectively in 2012.
    The number of deaths involving heroin or morphine fell slightly in 2012 to 579 deaths, but these remain the substances most commonly involved in drug poisoning deaths, the ONS said.
    Regionally, mortality rates from drug misuse were significantly higher in Wales than in England in 2012, at 45.8 and 25.4 deaths per million population respectively.
    In England, the North West had the highest mortality rate from drug misuse in 2012 at 41.0 deaths per million population.


    Popular: Legal highs have become a massive industry feeding Britain's hunger for psychoactive substances

    Legal highs have always been available in some form or another, with partygoers long using freely available substances like amyl nitrate and nitrous oxide to get a fix.
    However, the recent explosion in legal high use came with the rise in popularity of a class of drugs known as cathinones, particularly mephedrone, from 2007 onwards.
    The drug, which is chemically similar to compounds found in the khat plant of eastern Africa, became popular among clubbers as a more easily available - and legal - replacement for MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy tablets.
    The effects of the substance have been likened to a combination of MDMA, amphetamine and cocaine. It is said to have the euphoric effects of ecstasy, but with the short-lived hit of a line of coke.
    Mephedrone's popularity gave rise to a whole new market for legal highs sold over the internet and when the substance was finally banned in 2010 a range of other novel synthesised drugs had sprung up to take its place. Many of them were produced by laboratories in China and bought and imported by entrepreneurs using popular wholesale websites like Alibaba.com. However their purity was difficult to ascertain.
    One legal drug which followed mephedrone in rising to popularity was 6-APB, known commonly as Benzo Fury. A molecule of the same phenethylamine class as MDMA, it marked a fresh attempt by enterprising chemists to circumvent drugs laws by slightly changing the chemical makeup of popular drugs.
    Those attempts have now turned into a cat and mouse game with legislators, with chemists synthesising new substances faster them Parliament can ban them, spawning a whole industry to feed Britain's hunger for mind-altering substances.
    However, unlike drugs which have been around for years and for which risks are generally well known, the long term - and indeed short term - risks many of these new substances are still a mystery.

    August 29, 2013
    by Mail Online


  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    This is a shame, all those dead young kids. It's the pity that marketers of crap drugs make out so well and the next generation is paying the piper. Every day a new bunch of untried cocktails are introduced into the world--most dangerous at best. Get this mess off the shelves! We need drug purity so change our legislation. NOW.
  2. bhonkers
    Daily Mail.

    Scaring the dumb and elderly for 100 years or more.

    Right, that's off my chest.

    Time to teach chemistry to everyone so people know what they are taking because they made out themselves.
  3. xiaobendan
    I think what is obvious now is that the third and forth generation of legal highs are a lot less predictable than 4mmc and others were.

    The new stimulants and cannabinoids just seem to be getting worse and worse as time goes on. Which is because in the beginning the vendors picked the juiciest stuff to market. The original tryptamines that Shulgin came out with were much better than his 5-MeO substituted stuff.

    Personally I only use tryptamines now, I'm thinking about ethlyphenidate some time soon in the future but I'm 30 now and stim binges make me look 10years older for a week or two after.

    I personally wouldn't touch the newer dissociatives and cannabinoids and I won't get started on the NBOME series. I called it when they came out that there would be trouble and I was right.

    Many people said I was talking like the daily mail but anyone who's been in the RC scene knows that even the best of us sometimes eyeball doses(stupid stupid thing to do).

    Now when you're doing something active at 50-100mg, the amount of trouble you can get yourself in is limited to a bad trip or horrid stim high pulling faces etc.

    The RC scene is beginning to shatter to pieces because of the very aggressive marketing that vendors have used over the last few years. It hasn't helped that criminal groups have totally destroyed the ecstcy and coke market by cutting everything so much.

    Though untried and untested you will, in general, get a much cleaner product off even the shadiest Chinese vendor than say your local scally selling coke.

    But seriously, the number of death is still tiny compared to alcohol, sugar and fast food. Considering how untried and untested this stuff really is, like some only conceived and created a few weeks before marketing. I'm very surprised the number of deaths has been so low.

    But isn't it simply because people who are used to snorting heavily cut cocaine suddenly do the same sized lines of pure MDPV, MTA, pv8, 4mec and suddenly find themselves having a heart attack?

    I'm rambling sorry but if MDMA, ketamine, amphetamine and cannabis were legalized tomorrow we would barely have any hits in the RC forum the day after. Thats the sad truth. the government has created this beast and its up to them to slay it by creating a real responsive drug policy. Stop treating the people like children, it hasn't worked before and it certainly won't work in the future.

    Ramble over..............
  4. Diverboone
    I tend to question the way statistic are derived from this report and others like it. The use of the word "related" can be overly broad in definition. Rarely is there ever a direct correlation made between the drug and actual cause of death. If substance X was consumed prior to the death then substance X must be the cause? Not at all, it's possible that known past drug use will get the box for drug related death marked. Nor is poly drug use taken into consideration. For example, of these deaths, how many of the deceased had consumed alcohol? Statistics can be manipulated to represent whatever the author wishes.
  5. xiaobendan
    You are totally correct, I remember the big uproar that led to the banning of 4MMC in the UK.

    The guy who died had tons of methadone(the opiate!) in his system but also 4MMC, now of course all this came out long after the banning of 4MMC and barely made it to the last page of the red tops. Because that isn't a useful story for fanning the flames of the drugs war...
  6. Potter
    Could it also be that legal high USE has soared over the past ten years?
  7. Diverboone
    I'm quite sure that their use has increased and would have an effect upon the number of resulting deaths. But in the same respect, ten years ago some of these drugs were only known on paper, yet to be synthesized. Others were not well know outside their social groups. This would result in a legal high drug use related death that was reported as something else. Our knowledge and awareness of these drugs has expanded over that same 10yr, resulting in more deaths report as related to legal highs.

    I say again the use of the word "related" is overly broad in it's definition. It is misleading to the general public, as they read the statement to believe that legal highs were the cause of these deaths. Someone eluding police dies in a fatal crash, if a legal high is found in there system, then that drug is blamed. If found in their pocket, the dru is still to blame.

    I would like to know the real number of deaths conclusively caused as a result of legal high use. But we will never see or hear this number, the reason being is, with a definitive number it would be easy to compare it to the deaths caused each year by the drug aspirin. Then it would be so obviously absurd that our attention has been directed by biased reporting.
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