The talk of legal highs have been swirling for a while now, without us having a real understanding of what these legal highs consist of, but also the effects that they can have on our bodies. High profile people like Jeremy Kyle have been trying to make people see what harm these legal highs are causing but to try find out why people want to take them in the first place. Just because they are not covered by the misuse of drugs laws doesn’t mean that they are safe, or does it?
what are legal highs?
These substances which come under the umbrella of legal highs are used like illegal drugs, but the difference is with legal highs is the fact that they’re not covered by the misuse of drugs laws, so the ridiculous thing about this means that it’s legal to carry and use their substances.
It is important to state that these new substances aren’t controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act, and there is a lack of research into what the effects are on a person, how strong these substances are, or the effects that it can have on the body when mixed with alcohol or other substances (including things like aspirin or a paracetamol.)
When it comes to the marketing of these drugs, they may be marked as legal substances, however just because they’re legal to use doesn’t mean that they are safe or that people should be actually consuming these products.
The strange thing about the umbrella of legal highs is the way that we don’t know what are in them and sometimes it could mean that the substances contain illegal substances.
When we are looking at how you can get these products, they won’t be marketed as “legal highs” that would be ridiculous, however they can be sold as things like incense or plant food, this is how people can get around selling the legal highs. On the packaging however, it might show you a few of the ingredients that could potentially be in the substance, however that doesn’t guarantee that they are in there.
When it comes to your health, it is important that you take care, you need to understand the effects that this can have on you, for example when you get a prescription from the doctor there is usually a leaflet that is inside, it will show all of the effects that you can have when taking the drugs, you will have a doctor to support you, but also these have been tried and tested, these legal highs can cause serious health problems.
There are so many chemicals in these products and a lot of the products aren’t supposed to be for human consumption so unlike the prescription you get over the counter they haven’t been tested to make sure that they’re suitable for human consumption.
Legal highs can be described using 3 categories which include:
Stimulant legal highs:
These legal highs tend to act like amphetamines, cocaine or ecstasy, this means that it will make you feel energised, active, chatty or even euphoric. By taking these drugs it can temporarily increase your alertness, so when a person takes the drug, it will cause the person to want to use the drug again when the tiredness kicks in again. Long term effects can cause the person to be addicted to the substance, and when a person is increasing their dosage to get the same buzz it can cause a person to be hostile, but even worse it can cause a person to have high body temperature and develop an irregular heartbeat.
downer/sedative legal highs:
These legal highs can act like cannabis, which can be used to relax people and even to feel sleepy after a while, however it can cause a person to have a lack of concentration, slow down your reactions especially when it comes to things like driving or even walking down the street.
Imagine you were crossing the road and there was a lorry coming down the road, you’re with your children and you’re crossing the road, and you walk out and your children have been run over by the lorry, is that something you could live with?
These types of drugs can also cause a person to fall into a coma, death and this risk is increased if you have mixed these drugs with alcohol, and if you’re trying to come off these drugs, it can cause a person to feel anxious, so it is important to get medical attention when it comes to coming off the substances.
getting medical help
When you’re trying to come off legal highs, it can be difficult to come off, and as you’re on the come down, it can cause a person to crave the substances. If you are coming off the substances, make sure that you have medical support.
If you are having a reaction and you aren’t able to settle with fresh air and fluids, get medical help, being safe is important. Make sure you are clear with your doctor about what you’ve been taking and how long you’ve been taking it, getting help is important.