Concerns over legal highs

PUBLISHED: 18:00 20 February 2015

Legal highs (Picture: Avon and Somerset police).

Legal highs (Picture: Avon and Somerset police).

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AN INVESTIGATION into whether ‘legal highs’ could pose a risk to public health is being carried out by North Somerset Council.

The authority’s Trading Standards team wants anyone who has had a bad experience with one of the substances to contact them.

So-called legal highs can be sold in shops to people aged 18 and above but not for human consumption.

They are man-made chemicals which mimic the effects of banned substances.

But due to their slightly different chemical structure, they fall out of legislative control.

Trading Standards regulate the safety of products for sale, but do not have enough evidence to establish whether legal highs are safe.

Mandy Bishop, North Somerset Council’s assistant director of operations in development and environment, said: “We are very concerned about these so-called ‘legal highs’ and want to find out whether their sale locally is a risk to public health.

“There are many products on the market and we need the public to tell us about any bad experiences they have had with them.

“If we get sufficient evidence of a public health risk, we will take appropriate action in order to prevent harm to local residents.”

When someone takes a legal high, they do not know what short or long-term effects it will have on them.

Some people have suffered from depression, delusions or paranoia as a result of taking them and they can be as addictive as illegal drugs.

Anyone who has become ill or had an accident as a result of taking them is invited to get in contact with Trading Standards.

A form can be filled in at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/legalhighs or people can call 01934 888802.


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