“LEGAL highs” are on the rise in Dumfries and Galloway, a drug support worker has warned.
Shirley Barr at Integrated Substance Services, warned that a substance called MCat, which affects the body in similar ways to ecstasy and speed, is becoming more widely used in the region.
And it is thought that the drug is becoming most common in Dalbeattie.
She said: “I wanted to mention legal highs. There is a growing number of young people taking legal highs in the area. It is a stimulant that works like ecstasy and speed. We know of more people taking the drug.
“People are taking the drug thinking it is safer because it hasn’t been made illegal, but they are putting themselves at real harmful risk. It is a very worrying and growing trend.”
She highlighted Dalbeattie as an area where the use of MCat is prevalent.
Shirley Barr issued the warning to councillors, fellow drugs agency expects, and members of the public at the Stewartry Area Committee.
Substance Misuse Officer Scott Jardine said: “We are aware that a number of uncontrolled substances exist which have the potential to be misused. Some of these products have various legitimate uses, but are often described as ‘legal highs’ and are readily available online.
“People who use these substances need to be aware of the potentially harmful effects and it is important that parents and young people who are most likely to have questions have access to credible and reliable information. While not controlled these substances do have mind-altering properties and as such hold inherent dangers.
“The adverse effects on health are not known and there is a real potential for short term and long term harm to an individual’s health from these substances.”
by Kieran Westbrook
November 25, 2009
Dumfries & Galloway Standard