Legal highs – killer lows. Do you know what you are taking? Our staff see the aftereffects.

Black Mamba, Pandora’s Box, Ivory Wave, Annihilation – they’re all legal highs but will they be killer lows as well?

So called ‘legal highs’ are psychoactive substances that mimic the effects of controlled drugs although they have had their chemical structures changed.

Whilst the attractions are clear, the downsides are less well known. Effects such as seizures, comas, long term illnesses and in some cases death! Still sound so attractive?

Across the West Midlands, ambulance staff are now regularly having to deal with patients who have taken legal highs.

Paramedic, Cameron McVittie said on his twitter account: “My last job of the night initially coded as a cardiac arrest…thankfully it wasn’t! But it was another case of ‘black mamba’…what is it? It is a legal high that is ‘synthetic cannabis’. It contains chemicals which mimic the effects of their illegal counterparts meaning the risks and side effects are similar.

“In some cases, side effects are unknown due to little testing being done on them. We’re seeing lots of people who have smoked or even eaten ‘Black Mamba’. The fact that it states on packets ‘not for human consumption’ doesn’t seem to matter – better take the advice!”

Fellow paramedic, Jack Lewis, added: “We some very poorly people who insist on taking legal highs.
One of the sickest patients I’ve been to took a legal high. They may be “legal” but they are so dangerous.

“We see cases where patients have got an increased heart rate; are feeling on edge or restless; sometimes they are feeling tired or drowsy; feeling sick; having hallucinations and panic attacks as well as convulsions. There is also now evidence that their use may increase the risk of later developing psychotic illnesses including schizophrenia.”

If you want advice on the pros and cons of using legal highs, check out Talk to Frank.

You can follow Cameron on twitter here.  See what Jack is up to here.

Legal High

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