Revellers warned of 'legal high' risks
POLICE have warned revellers in Mid Devon of the dangers posed by 'legal highs' during the summer festival season.
The new psychoactive substances (NPS) are often labelled as not being fit for human consumption in order for manufacturers to get around legislation and misrepresents their intended use.
Regular testing on such substances has regular found them to contain drugs from Class A, B and C which has led individuals being prosecuted for offences ranging from possession to supply, detectives say.
Detective Inspector Neil Blackhurst, from Devon and Cornwall's serious organised crime and investigation team, said: "The most important message that we want to send out is that just because something is being sold as legal it does not mean that it is safe to consume.
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"In light of a number of recent incidents where users of these substances have gone to hospital from serious adverse reactions, it is crucial that any individuals purchasing and using them are aware of and understand the issues surrounding them.
"The risk of harm to the user cannot be understated. Labels and packaging rarely suggest what the substances contain and even where details are on the packaging, what is stated on the label can have little or no connection to what is in the powder or pill."
Such substances are easily available online or in High Street shops and are often also labelled as novelty items or research chemicals. Since the emergence of mephedrone, the term 'legal high' has been used to describe substances which are either naturally occurring or synthetically produced which mimic the effects of controlled drugs.
The greatest danger posed by NPS is the lack of research and knowledge about their short and long-term effects on the user's