THE police are warning people to be wary of so-called “legal highs” after two people are thought to have become ill in Taunton after taking them.
Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) or ‘Legal Highs’ are often marketed in high street shops and because they are “legal” many people are under the impression that they are safe, but they can be far from it.
A lot of NPS are entirely synthetic, others can be plant based and are legal simply because they are waiting to be classified, but that doesn’t mean they are safe.
Often they can be more potent than illegal drugs.
Retailers often get round trades description laws and other legislation by labelling the packaging with ‘not fit for human consumption’ but they are packaged and marketed in such a way it can be misleading.
Sgt Neil Kimmins said: “We have heard of two people becoming ill in Taunton this week after taking a “legal high”.
Unfortunately it’s not a rare occurrence.
“In the past, many NPS we have seized have turned out to be controlled substances or they contain chemicals that have never been tested on humans and can cause serious injury or even death.”
One former legal high, mephedrone also known as Meow Meow or Mcat, became illegal in April 2010, when it became a Class B drug.
Sgt Kimmins added: “Because meph’ used to legal people thought it was harmless but we believe now there is a link between mephedrone use and suicide and other side effects can include fits, liver problems and brain damage.
“We would really like to talk to anyone who has been sold legal highs for the purpose of human consumption, i.e. someone selling them has advised you they are ok to take.
"If you or someone you know, have been sold them and told they are fit for consumption, please can you contact us or call Crimestoppers.
“Our focus is and will continue to be tackling the drugs causing the most harm to our communities, whatever they might be. Anyone who buys NPS is playing roulette with their health.”
If you have any information about drug crime or if you have been encouraged to buy legal highs, or told they are ok to take please contact us either by emailing us via our website www.avonandsomerset.police.uk or by calling 101.
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on0800 555 111.
They never ask your name or trace your call.