How dangerous are ‘legal highs’?

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MP pushed to make a decision about legal highs

The growing concerns about the legal highs industry is still open to debate according to Crime prevention minister Norman Baker.

The Liberal Democrat minister  revealed that all options are still being considered, although it has been agreed that a solution needs to be found.

Despite legal highs claiming 68 lives in 2012, as shown in coroners’ tests, retailers are still pushing to sell ‘low harm’ versions of the drugs and have formed a trade body to press for regulation.

Although the Home Office has ruled out the licensing of shops – which would be displayed in a similar way to sex shops – Mr Baker emphasis “we haven’t got a closed mind about any option.”

More research needed

Legal highs involve substances that are similar to cocaine and ecstasy but are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act since more research is needed to make a final decision.

“There is already a vast array of substances being sold on our streets, in our shops, and that’s what we have to try to deal with because many of these are actually quite dangerous,” Mr Baker said on Radio 4’s Today programme. “They are inaccurately and unhelpfully called legal highs – some of them are actually illegal – but they’re certainly not safe and people are consuming them.”