Legal Highs’ are substances which produce the same, or similar effects, to drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, but are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
They are considered illegal to sell, supply or advertise for “human consumption” under current medicines legislation. To get round this sellers will refer to them as research chemicals, plant food, bath crystals or pond cleaner.
There are a large number of legal highs, but here are a few key facts:
Just because a drug is legal to possess, it doesn’t mean it’s safe.
It is becoming increasingly clear that ‘legal highs’ are far from harmless and can have similar health risks to drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and speed.
Risks of ‘legal highs’ can include reduced inhibitions, drowsiness, excited or paranoid states, coma, seizures, and death.
These risks are increased if used with alcohol or other drugs.
It is likely that drugs sold as a ‘legal high’ may actually contain one or more substances that are actually illegal to possess. What you may think is a legal high that you can’t get in trouble for having, could be something completely different, and in fact a class B drug.
Worried About Someone?
Not all drugs are addictive, and everybody that uses drugs doesn’t become dependent. When drug use becomes problematic it can lead to addiction and signs this has happen can include:
The need for regular use.
Constantly have drugs in their possession.
Strange and ‘out of character’ behavior
Physical changes like Weight loss
Sometimes people don’t recognise their drug use has become a problem. They refuse to believe that they are addicted or dependent. If you think you think a friend has a problem and you want to help them, think about how you're going to approach it and what you’re going to say?
It could be a sensitive subject for them and you don’t what to looking like you’re getting. They may not listen to you at first but don’t let this put you off. The best thing that you can do is to be there for them, to support and encourage them to change. You can also help by keeping your friend away from situations that can trigger or expose them to drug use.
Some people are able to overcome their issues with drugs before any serious harm has been done to them, or their family and friends. Other users have to hit rock bottom before they can see the harm and damage they are doing and start addressing their drug use.