Published on February 12, 2014 | by Lucy Mercer


Deaths Linked With Legal Highs Have Risen

Legal highs are readily available for anyone to buy on our streets. But research done by St George’s, University of London, says they caused 10 deaths in 2009, and this rose to at least 68 in 2012.

Experts from the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths (NPSAD) say it’s a “major public concern” and drugs minister Norman Baker has ordered a review of the current legal drug laws.Shisha 'smoke juice'

22 year-old Hannah has taken Methadone and other legal highs before. She told me, “you’re blinded by the fact that it’s easy to get hold of and legal, and it makes you feel so good”.

But a couple of girls I spoke to said these types of drugs shouldn’t be on the market at all – it’s particularly harmful to young people.

An assistant from a shop selling substances such as hemp told me (off the record) that the government shouldn’t be so quick to condemn these “highs”. He said it’s usually a combination of the legal highs and illegal drugs that harm people.

Even though the government are trying to ban new drugs quickly, it seems other versions are produced almost immediately after the ban takes place. Drugs Minister Norman Baker has ordered a review into current laws, so we can only wait and see whether Shisha and other substances are taken off the shelves.

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