What exactly are legal highs?Deaths linked to the drugs have tripled over the past three years, with men in their twenties the legall at risk from the psychoactive substances, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. So, the blanket ban of legal high tablets drugs due to come into steroid cream for hand dermatitis later this week is a good thing, right? No, says Higy David Nutt, the former Government drugs tsar. As Harry Shapiro, the chief executive of the drugs information charity DrugWise, explains: The legal high tablets people selling heroin and crack will simply add this to their repertoire.
Legal highs - party pills, stimulants, relaxants, sex boosters and more non-criminal herbal highs
A group of drugs that are sold legally and which imitate the effects of illegal drugs such as cannabis , ecstasy and cocaine. Examples of these include herbal smoking mixtures, diet pills ephedrine , herbal ecstasy and mephedrone. This is a type of substance which has the same effects as an illegal drug but can be bought legally, and openly.
They are not regulated by the Misuse of Drugs Act although changes have been, or are being made to control these substances. Some of these are herbal mixtures which can be added to tobacco and smoked. Others such as mephedrone come as a white powder or as tablets or capsules.
Others such as ephedrine are found in over the counter medicines or pills used for weight control. These vary depending upon which substance you are using.
For example, if you smoke Spice then you will find that the effects are similar to those of cannabis. Many people find that their perceptions have altered or that they experience mild hallucinations. A drug such as mephedrone causes similar effects to those from using ecstasy or cocaine.
These include euphoria, increased confidence, lots of energy and empathy with others. It can also suppress the appetite, speed up the heart rate and reduce inhibitions. Spice and herbal viagra e. They cause hallucinogenic effects and also act upon the body in a similar way to ecstasy. Herbal ecstasy such as Cloud 9 acts as a stimulant upon the body which means increased heart rate and breathing, a sense of euphoria, dilated pupils and general talkativeness.
They can also improve sexual performance. Many of these substances behave in the same way as synthetic drugs and can lead to dependency over a period of time. For example a drug such as mephedrone is similar to ecstasy in that it is highly addictive and leads to psychological changes in the user. These substances are more powerful than many people realise and can be as equally as addictive as their illegal cousins.
Some of these are not regulated under the Misuse of Drugs Act but there have been amendments to this which make it illegal to sell or supply them for human use under the medicines legislation. But it is very easy to assume that because these drugs are freely available that they are safer than synthetic varieties. Even the herbal substances such as Spice or Salvia have side effects.
The problem is that many of these substances contain all sorts of chemicals which have not always been tested for human consumption. So you are not quite sure what you are getting and the effect it will have upon your system. There are no long term studies on these drugs so no-one really knows what the long term health risks are. If they are combined with other substances such as alcohol then this increases the risks.