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Suffolk: Police give legal highs warning ahead of festival season

Health risk warning for legal highs.

Health risk warning for legal highs.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009

Young people are being urged to be cautious about so-called legal highs.

Suffolk Police has issued the warning ahead of the summer festival season.

Legal highs, also known as chemical highs or new psychoactive substances, are drugs which mimic the effects of controlled drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.

They can be in powder, pill or herbal form and look similar to the illegal drugs they mimic. They are not all illegal as their chemical structure has been slightly altered, which makes them very dangerous as it is impossible to predict the side effects or long-term health risks they may cause.

Suffolk Police has launched a section its website to give information about legal highs and the dangers associated with them.

Robin Pivett, controlled drug and chemical liaison officer at Suffolk Police, said: “The dangers of ingesting or smoking many of the substances that are being openly sold as safe are really unknown.

“Pharmaceutical products undergo years of testing costing billions of pounds while these new substances have never been tested, and although advertised as legal, that is not always the case.

“Suppliers are trying to hide by giving messages such as not to be sold to under-18s, not for human consumption, or used for chemical research only, but what they are really doing is circumnavigating the law in order to make a financial gain for themselves, giving little or no thought of the health implications to the user.”

Suffolk Police has been using a device to send messages about legal highs to students at Suffolk College. The device sends out a message to all phones within a 100 metre radius.

Additionally local safer neighbourhood teams will be giving out posters to be displayed in public over the coming weeks highlighting the dangers.

For more information about legal highs visit the Suffolk Police website.

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