Legal high: the party pills stronger than ecstasy

Discussion in 'Piperazines' started by whipcreamdemon, Oct 29, 2006.

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    Legal high: the party pills stronger than ecstasy

    The selection of legal, mind-altering drugs, similar to cocaine, ecstasy and speed, are being legally sold over the counter to anyone aged over 18, in at least 13 so-called ‘head stores’ around the country, as well as stalls outside big music festivals and gigs.

    Support groups are becoming increasingly concerned about the recent explosion of pep pills because they contain the dangerous substance benzylpiperazine (BZP) which acts as a substitute for MDMA, the banned substance in ecstasy and speed pills.

    Despite warnings from experts that they cause heart problems and panic attacks, the Government said it has no plans to ban them. However, it is backing a new drugs awareness campaign being launched to warn young people of the dangers of these “legal highs”.

    The Department of Health said BZP is not a scheduled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act, but its status is kept under constant review. However, it is banned and classified as a Class A substance in the US since 2002.

    In a statement, the Department of Health said it “reviews any evidence that substances are being abused and are causing significant harm to public health. For example, earlier this year the law surrounding pyscho- tropic mushrooms in their raw state was clarified in the light of evidence of increased availability and significant harm being done”.

    The National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD) discussed the emerging trend for the first time at a meeting two weeks ago. It said it will gather information on BZP and consult with its EU counterparts before making any recommendations to the Government.

    Support groups say Jax pills and Smileys — both containing BZP and five times the strength of any other dance pills — are becoming the drug of choice for college-goers and even Leaving Cert students, who see them as a more accessible and safer alternative to drugs such as speed, Ecstasy and LSD.

    Dr Des Corrigan from the Trinity College School of Pharmacy, said BZP is no safer than any other drug. “The main concern would be dehydration and the risk of heat stroke. The other concerns would be head- aches and a flu like hangover that lasts a few days. There is also the risk of panic reactions and high blood pressure. It would surprise me if anyone would think they are getting anything safer,” Dr Corrigan said.

    Michael McDonagh of the Drugs Awareness Programme (DAP) said caffeine and herbal tablets have been around for a long time, but since May they are getting more and more calls about these pills, which are a bit more serious in what they contain.

    “We are concerned that they will become a big story at exam time next year,” Mr McDonagh said.

    DAP and the Health Service Executive (HSE) are planning an awareness campaign for early next year, which will advise young people, their parents, and professionals about the dangers of these drugs.

    DAP said since the ban on magic mushrooms earlier this year it has received thousands of calls relating to Salvia, a more dangerous but legal hallucinogen.

    DAP is calling for the regulation of the socalled ‘head stores’ which sell these pills, along with growing kits, pipes and other accessories.

    source is Irish Examiner http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/2006/10/16/story15868.asp