BenzylpiperazineThe shutdown comes after a sheriff yesterday granted a closure order to Police Scotland and Aberdeen City Council. It is the first such court order against a shop selling New Psychoactive Substances NPS — more commonly known columbiana legal high side effects legal highs. Aberdeen councillor Ross Thomson said: No one was available at Harminasion last night and a esteroides para fuerza y definicion who answered the phone at the Peterhead shop said he knew nothing about the situation. It comes a week after the Record reported Jamie Donnelly25, had died and a year-old girl collapsed in the street after taking legal high drugs in Falkirk. Question - 1 of 5 Score - 0 of 0.
Legal highs in the UK - Men's Health
Deaths linked to the drugs have tripled over the past three years, with men in their twenties the most at risk from the psychoactive substances, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. So, the blanket ban of these drugs due to come into force later this week is a good thing, right? No, says Professor David Nutt, the former Government drugs tsar.
As Harry Shapiro, the chief executive of the drugs information charity DrugWise, explains: The same people selling heroin and crack will simply add this to their repertoire.
And how did we even get to this position in the first place? We had one writer find out the full story. With a friendly Scottish lilt, the shop assistant skips through the myriad synthetic drugs on sale in his Edinburgh store.
He is impressively stocked: My aide is chatty and reliably well-informed, like a sommelier talking me through the contents of his wine cellar. This is what a drug deal looks like in But this is a different cultural landscape to the one immortalised in print. The drugs in my pocket are emblematic of the change. But forget the chemistry for a second.
Magic Dragon is for people who want to get wasted on the right side of the law. Smoking blends like mine change hands for around the same price as a packet of cigarettes. With names like Sweet Leaf, Genesis and Bubble Bud and packaging depicting mellow Rastas and Jamaican flags the comparison with marijuana is evidently deliberate. You get a jittery buzz like you do with amphetamine or a strong psychedelic-style euphoria.
Mellow is not a word I would use. The law lists banned substances by chemical name rather than entire groups of chemicals or long lists of derivatives. That means the products on sale here in Leith can range from psychedelics to stimulants, hallucinogens and powerful sedatives.
And what separates them from Class A, B or C drugs is not a safety concern, but a small slight of chemistry. An enormous marketplace exists across the UK for shady pharmacists who alter the structure of certain chemicals by just enough to take them beyond the reach of the law.
They may be considerably stronger, more physically addictive, psychologically more-ish and, in some cases, more damaging to your brain and body than their illegal equivalent.
In Leith, the deprivation associated with drug use is still in evidence. Clearly not everyone around here chose life, a career or a fucking big television. The difference today is that the majority of drugs found in pubs, clubs and living rooms are legal.
That goes for everywhere, incidentally. Type in your card details and you can pop practically any drug you can think of into your online shopping trolley. Your supply will arrive in a week, sooner if you opt for express delivery. There are legal highs designed for clubbing or festivals, of course, but also for dinner parties, chilled-out Sundays and post-work blow-outs.
But legislators lag behind. Some chemicals are listed by name in the Misuse of Drugs Act, but in the past three years, new psychoactive substances have been arriving in Britain. Over the same three years, the government has managed to ban a mere Meanwhile, this same rollercoaster effect means that the health implications for you and your body are incredibly difficult to monitor with any degree of accuracy. Nonetheless, the Office for National Statistics suggests that legal highs can be lethal: I meet up with Darren and Jonathan, aged 38 and 41 respectively.
They fit the Trainspotting profile well: Both have now moved on but occasionally dabble with various legal highs, including tranquilizers and the now-banned stimulant 6-APB or Benzo Fury.
To them, the health risks of taking these substances are as different as the drugs themselves. Something you might expect to chill you out can send you on an intense trip or give you a physical, stimulant-style buzz. According to Jonathan, users are partly driven to these legal substances by the falling purity of regular street drugs.
Relative purity is most commonly said to justify the use of legal highs with abandon. But experts agree this is a dangerous logic.
Yet, we only understand the risks linked with similar, established drugs. Stimulants, for example, which include cocaine, amphetamines and their derivatives, Winstock says, put an immediate strain on your central nervous system, predisposing you to a number of immediate physical problems such as cardiac arrest or stroke. We know so little about these substances. Many are so new, no tests have been done at all. When it comes to a drug like methiopropamine, otherwise known as Charly Sheen in the legal market, scientists can make an educated guess about its risks.
But there are other clues: Frustrated by the lack of tangible evidence, I buy a selection of popular highs from a number of websites and send them to Agenda1 Analytical Services, a lab in Bradford, for analysis. Of the five drugs we send to the lab, all contain the exact same chemical structure as claimed on their packaging.
Four of them prove to be at least twice as pure as their street equivalents. More intriguingly, we find that Ching, a legal cocaine substitute , is cut with a chemical that numbs your face and gums to mimic the real thing. Results in hand, I ask Jeremy Browne, the Minister for Crime Prevention, to what extent the government believes legal highs present a public health threat.
His response is unequivocal, if dishearteningly passive: Despite the few bans that have been passed since legal highs became popular, it is possible to draw some conclusions about the threat they pose. One notable case was that of phenazepam, a tranquilizer similar to valium. Before it was banned in , it was implicated in nine deaths in the UK.
The health risk seems likely — but no exhaustive studies are available, so any assessment is grounded more in fear than knowledge.
On the streets of Leith, the front line of this foggy war on drugs, Darren and Jonathan describe what the legal scramble means for average users. It's a stimulant mixed with a euphoric drug which may last longer.
Increased mental alertness and self-esteem, plus short-lived, choppy euphoria, which makes the urge to redose very strong. Health risks are most likely related the the methiopropamine, which can range from short-lived facial tics, to arrhythmia and cardiac arrest.
Threfore, what turns out 'legal' ends up Class B. It's also cut with lignocaine, which numbs your face like regular cocaine. Our second fake coke is a psycho-stimulant which elicits a jittery high and potent urge to redose. Increases focus with alcohol. Ethylphenidate can cause liver problems and anxiety. However, the manufacturerhas added carbon or oxygen atoms to set it apart from Charly Sheen, perhaps to build a brand value. Increasing the MDAI content mimics the sense of euphoria and mild psychedelia of E, while amphetamine will keep you awake.
Methiopropamine is likely to overburden your body, so feelings of anxiety, irritability, paranoia and panic could be worsened with this pill. Our tranquilliser is exactly what it says it is, of lab-grade purity. Illegal drugs of this strength are rare. Etizolam has the withdrawal effects of benzodiazepines and can be fatal. Causes anxiety, insomnia and the 'shakes' which can result in seizures. Some have used salvia, a strong hallucinogen. The high purity and lack of other more organic materials can cause a psychedelic, or trippy sensation, rather than a pleasant buzz.
The drugs are likely to present long-term risks with serious psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia. Added chemicals can only heighten the risk. Follow MH on Twitter and Facebook. To complete the sign up process, please click on the link in the email we just sent to. Stronger than crack I meet up with Darren and Jonathan, aged 38 and 41 respectively.
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