Parents around the UK have the constant worry of their children becoming involved with alcohol or illegal drugs; once their child reaches high school, there is the risk of exposure to these chemical substances. However, it seems as though parents have even more to worry about these days as legal highs continue to be a problem.
What are Legal Highs?
Legal highs are also known as new psychoactive substances and are legally sold as plant food, incense and bath salts. Readily available both online and in headshops around the country, they have been a scourge affecting teenagers for many years now. They have been linked to the deaths of a number of young people, and campaigners have been calling for them to be banned.
The Government has proposed new legislation, yet to be implemented, to ban all psychoactive substances, but many fear that this legislation will be unenforceable.
Legal highs are typically marked as unfit for human consumption, but this does not stop youngsters from taking the substances. The fact that they are readily available and easily accessible makes them very attractive to young people.
Dangers of Legal Highs
The problem with legal highs is that so many people believe them to be safe due to the name they are known by. They are unaware that these substances often contain harmful substances and that, because there is just no way of knowing what they contain, there is no way of knowing how a person will react to substances contained therein.
In fact, there are a number of new legal highs on the market, with many children becoming hooked. The chewie is a legal high bubblegum that promises to create similar effects to cannabis. Kush Bubble and Cloud9 are examples of these highly toxic substances that cost around £8 per gram. They are sold in a variety of flavours and are marked as not fit for human consumption, but that is not stopping youngsters from trying them and quickly becoming addicted.
Both Kush Bubble and Cloud9 contain chemical substances that are banned in other countries and which are being blamed for causing devastating addictions. One user has told the Daily Star how her life spiralled out of control once she began taking the substance.
The fifteen-year-old said she developed a 3g-per-day habit, which caused her to suffer seizures and led to her bleeding from the ears, eyes and nose. She said that she used to smoke a different legal high, Spice, but liked the idea of chewing gum, and added, It has pretty much the same effect but is very addictive. Before long, I had a £30-a-day habit I just couldnt shake. It was horrendous, I didnt care about anything or anyone and couldnt sleep more than 45 minutes at a time.
Her addiction led to her being expelled from school and she admits that she started stealing in a bid to fund her habit. She said that her addiction was so bad that if she had to choose now between being addicted to Cloud9 or heroin, she would pick heroin. She said, Its so easy to buy. Shops dont care how old you are. I blame them for whats happening. I know loads of kids aged 12 and 13 who are on the streets because theyve been kicked out of home.
Tackling the Problem
With legal highs causing twice as many UK deaths as illegal drug ecstasy, it is no surprise that so many parents and campaigners are urging the Government to do more. Nevertheless, the problem is that once they ban one chemical, the manufacturers simply replace it with something else and often a more toxic ingredient.
It remains to be seen whether the proposed ban on psychoactive substances will be effective in tackling the problem.