October 7, 2008 12:22

Legal highs come under fire from drug charities

Festival favourites are 'not safe' according to Drugscope

Legal highs come under fire from drug charities
Legal highs sold at festivals such as Glastonbury and Reading And Leeds have come under fire from drugs charity Drugscope.

The government are set to examine clinical evidence from tests on substances such as BZP and Salvia and decide if they merit clinical control or a change in the law, according to BBC Radio Four's Today Programme.

"The message is: legal doesn't necessarily mean safe," Drugscope spokesman Harry Shapiro told the programme.

"These drugs often mimic quite closely the effects of controlled drugs like ecstasy, LSD and amphetamines. So it's perfectly legitimate for the government through its advisory council to look at the clinical evidence and decide if they merit any clinical control."

He also pointed out that manufacturers often change the formula of the drugs to stay one step ahead of the law.

"Although they're [the government] are always going to be playing catch up, people will always try and tweak the chemistry," he added.

According to John Ramsey from the TICTAC Drugs Database, legal highs often mislead customers on their ingredients.

"There are packets of tablets and capsules that are sold as herbal highs, but are in no way herbal. It [a drug containing BZP] is lying about what it contains. The content on the packet bears very little relation to what's in them," he told the programme.

NME.COM wants to hear your experiences of legal highs - send your stories, first hand accounts and views on possible legislation to news@nme.com with legal high in the subject and we'll print the best.

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