Multi-agency partners move to warn public about dangers of 'legal highs' believed to be on sale in Highlands (04/12/12)

A Multi-agency press release  

As the party season approaches, Police and partners are reminding the public about the dangers of 'legal highs' and are advising people not to take them.
It is believed that premises within the Force area are selling such substances, and although 'legal', multi-agency partners are reminding people that this does not mean they are safe.

During the festive season and throughout the year, Police and health officials are keen to remind people about the dangers involved in taking substances and specifically, the risks associated with 'legal highs'. Anyone who purchases these substances simply does not know what they contain and the adverse effect they may have when taken alone or in conjunction with other substances.

Detective Inspector Brian MacKay said: "We are warning the public about the risks associated with the use of new psychoactive substances, otherwise known as 'legal highs'.

"The dangers of these so-called 'legal highs' are unknown and mixing them with another drug or alcohol, can result in even more severe consequences. Don't think that just because you can buy these items over the counter that they are safe.

"Whether purchased on-line or from a shop, there is no guarantee that they are safe to take. These substances can be professionally packaged and branded, but this doesn't remove the substantial risk to health.
"We would strongly advise anyone against consuming any psychoactive substances and would urge anyone suffering from adverse effects to seek immediate medical attention."

Despite the fact that these substances are marketed as 'legal highs' they still carry warnings which state they are not for human consumption.
Highland Alcohol and Drug Partnership is working with colleagues in Northern Constabulary, NHS Highland and Highland Council to ensure the public have access to information on the risks from legal highs and are encouraged to make positive choices and stay safe.

Deborah Stewart of the Highland Alcohol and Drug Partnership (HADP) said: "Legal does not mean safe. We are very concerned about the reported sale of legal highs and aware of growing concern.

"We will be working with our partners to consider what action we may be able to take and we are training staff in order to increase their knowledge so they can advise on the risks and provide support."

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