Legal highs have been featured in many news reports over the past few weeks, and many parents have called for them to be banned. A Belfast boy was found dead in the street almost two weeks ago after taking legal highs at a house party, and on the day of his funeral, one of his friends collapsed in the street and had to be resuscitated by paramedics after he too took legal highs.
These legally obtained substances are considered safe by many youngsters simply because it is not illegal to buy or possess them. Because they are not illegal, many believe they must be safe, but this is often not the case. In many instances, legal highs can be highly addictive and, for some, fatal.
Many believe the Government is not doing enough to tackle the scourge of legal highs, with many calling for them to be banned completely. Nonetheless, the problem is that once a particular substance has been banned, the manufacturers will simply create a new substance to replace it, and these substances are often stronger and more toxic.
It has become known that police have closed down a controversial legal high store in Portsmouth because it was having a negative impact on the community. The store’s owner, Peter Stanley, has now said he may stop selling legal highs completely.
Police Officer Dan McGarrigle said they were taking reports of anti-social behaviour seriously; the police have put up hoardings that prevent the premises from being entered by anyone for the coming three months. He said, “The anti-social behaviour related to this premises has had a detrimental effect on the local community and has had a negative impact on individuals, families and businesses.”
He confirmed that the police believe it was because of the sale of legal highs that the anti-social behaviour related to.
PC McGarrigle said that those who take legal highs act in a manner that they would not normally, which could result in anti-social behaviour. He also pointed out that these substances are not safe for human consumption and could lead to serious mental health problems or even death.
Police in Hampshire worked with the city council to get the store closed, and director of public health Dr Janet Maxwell said, “We are finding a number of people becoming very unwell, both physically and mentally, due to the use of these products. Just because they are not illegal does not mean they are safe to consume.”
She also urged those who use legal highs to contact agencies from where they can get help.
Mr Stanley has another legal high shop in Havant and believes there has been a witch-hunt relating to his brand name. He is legally selling substances used as legal highs by labelling them as ‘not fit for human consumption’. However, he has admitted that he may now look at selling different products such as shampoos, oils, and creams.
The Belfast boy who died after taking legal highs had been struggling with a legal high addiction for around three years, according to his parents. Unfortunately, many teenagers do not realise that these substances can be addictive or dangerous.
If you suspect that someone you love may have an addiction to legal highs, it is essential that they get help as soon as possible. Rehab Helper is a free referral service working with clients suffering from all types of addiction. We can help by putting you in touch with the relevant treatment provider and by providing you with free information and advice on how to beat your addiction. Call today for more information.