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  1. Phenoxide
    PsycheDeli.jpg A senior paramedic has warned that so-called legal highs are leaving ambulance services baffled when it comes to treating casualties.

    Sarah Harrison said the complex make-up of the substances is leaving staff playing "catch-up" in the battle to develop effective treatments.

    A BBC investigation has discovered some products did not contain the precise ingredients listed on their packaging.

    Police incidents involving legal highs have more than doubled in two years. Officers from 32 forces in England attended 3,807 incidents in 2014 - up from 1,431 the previous year, according to data compiled by the think tank the Centre for Social Justice.

    Ms Harrison, an advanced paramedic for North West Ambulance Service, said health workers are also seeing a surge in the number of people falling ill after taking legal highs, officially classed as new psychoactive substances (NPS).

    She said: "We have no drugs that counteract the effects of the substances that people are taking, and that's what's causing a lot of the problems.

    "A lot of the time we are not aware what substance they have taken and what combination, or even what the substance is because they come with different names and different street names. So we are having to just deal with the medical effects and treat the patient at the time."

    BBC Inside Out North West asked biochemists from Liverpool John Moores University to analyse five separate brands of legal high, marketed as Ching, Cherry Bomb, Pandora's Box Unleashed, Gogaine and Exodus Damnation.

    In three of the products they discovered a mismatch between the ingredients listed on the packet, and what the substance actually contained. While none of the products contained controlled drugs, in some cases they showed traces of additional legal chemicals not listed on the packaging. And the Ching legal high actually had an illegal drug listed on the packet, whereas the drug inside was legal.

    Prof Harry Sumnall said: "This has implications for the retailer because under current UK law, you can't pass something off as an illegal drug, even if what you are actually selling is legal.

    "So in effect, the individual who was selling this product could be actually arrested and charged for the supply of an illegal drug."

    He added: "I think this really shows the complexities around this - that many purchasers and many retailers as well don't really know what they are buying."

    Only Gogaine and Cherry Bomb contained the precise ingredients advertised.

    Prof Sumnall added that although none of the legal highs showed traces of illegal drugs, these had been detected in previous tests of other products.

    The government is planning to bring in new legislation to make it an offence to produce, supply, import or export legal highs. The Psychoactive Substances Bill is currently being debated in Parliament and is likely to come into force in spring 2016.

    However, paramedic Ms Harrison said she does not think the use of legal highs will ever be adequately controlled.

    "We are seeing the effects of people stopping breathing, dying, becoming unconscious, becoming extremely paranoid and then that's causing problems with the family as well - upsetting other family members, being violent and aggressive towards other members of the public," she said.

    "Because [the ingredients in the drugs] are changing all the time, I don't think we can ever really get on top of it. I think the main message is to not take the substances in the first place."

    The BBC's investigation into legal highs features on Inside Out North West, on BBC One at 19.30 GMT on Monday 26 October.

    BBC News
    25th October 2015


  1. neuron_conj2nct
    psychoactive substances bill mentions the chemicals but the article lacks in determining even one. I can make you listen they're "additives"

    here let me google that for you
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    UK Emergency Service Workers Urge Citizens to Not Use "Dangerous" Legal Highs

    [IMGR=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=46611&stc=1&d=1446140113[/IMGR]Emergency services have been called out to deal with an unusually high number of medical emergencies involving the synthetic drug ‘Black Mamba.’ A 19-year old man from Rugeley was rushed to hospital when he collapsed after reportedly taking the drug. He is said to be a stable condition.

    Two weeks ago, three men were rushed to hospital after falling ill in Stafford town centre after consuming the same drug.

    "Legal Highs are proving to be an increasing challenge for our staff. As the chemicals are untested, unregulated and are often mixed with alcohol, the effect on the patient can vary considerably which presents very real difficulties for our staff. Those who take the drugs are often not forthcoming with details of what it is that they have taken which makes treatment problematic."

    Steve Wheaton, Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer at West Midlands Ambulance Service: "The police say they must continue to battle against perceptions that legal highs aren’t harmful.

    "Despite what people think some of these drugs are actually illegal and certainly dangerous. I urge people using these substances to think again, get help and please don't risk your life." – Chief Inspector Jane Hewett, Staffordshire Police.

    ITV Report/Oct. 29, 2015
    Photo: AP
    Newshawk Crew
  3. Beenthere2Hippie
    Re: UK Emergency Service Workers Urge Citizens to Not Use "Dangerous" Legal Highs

    Being an American (and having never been to Britain) I could be wrong, but recent news and police reports on both drug and legal high busts in the UK sure seem to come across nowadays with even more than the usual slant of what reads like propaganda-hype reporting to this member by all major news sources, other than the BBC and The Independent.

    Do you Brits, Europeans familiar with how the upcoming legal highs ban and its effect on British citizens, agree with this observation?
  4. malsat
    Re: UK Emergency Service Workers Urge Citizens to Not Use "Dangerous" Legal Highs

    I've no idea what black mamba is - is it a cannabinoid blend product?
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