Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Dangerous legal highs available in local shops?

This letter has been edited for confidentiality. It highlights the fact that legal highs, in this case 'Black Mamba' are dangerous and apparently on open sale locally.

I think it is important to warn people of the dangers of the lunacy of drugs, legal highs and other concocted chemicals made up in 'back street' premises by greedy, ruthless, uncaring gangs. 

People involved in providing drugs are the lowest of the low. Lacking intelligence, compassion or both they fail to understand the misery caused by this industry, both in the foreign fields where democracy is often replaced by violence or death; and on the their own doorstep where families suffer the horrors of addiction, broken homes, wasted youth, ill health and early death.

Dear Graham,

My family have recently have had a terrible experience due to a legal substance known as 'Black Mamba'. I feel very strongly that you should be aware of the effects of this substance and request that it be classified as a controlled substance.

On Friday 26th November our 17 year old son went to a friend's house party in Accrington, he was offered a smoke of a substance and was told that it was legal. As it was legal my son decided to try it and had 1 inhalation. Immediately he started to have very strong effects, his perceptions altered, he felt he needed to grip hold of something tangible to make sure he was holding on to the real world. 

At one point he was bent over with his hands immersed in soil in the friend's garden, he said he was hallucination and it was hugely overwhelming for him. His limbs became very rigid and he could not walk or move unaided. 

He stopped talking and was in a barely conscious state. His body temperature reduced dramatically and his skin colour became grey/green. 

His friend then called me and told me how unwell my son had become. All these events occurred within 30 minutes. My husband and I then immediately took our son to the hospital, I cannot praise the hospital staff enough as they were so helpful, understanding and non judgemental. They had not had a patient before who had smoked this substance so were a little unsure what to do for the best. After a sugary hot drink, wrapping him up in blankets he started to vomit.

After this he started to come round. He was kept in hospital overnight for observations and then was discharged. He has not suffered any adverse effect since apart from embarrassment and being grounded for being so stupid as to put an unknown substance in his body.

I have contacted Trading Standards as legal highs are available from shops locally.  I have contacted my Community Police Team also to inform them about our experience as they may be able to warn and help others. I have also contacted the Health Minister.

I think that the effects are so strong and adverse that it should not be freely available. My husband and I have been researching the substance; 7 teenagers had to receive medical attention in Cumbria recently due to the effects of Black Mamba. There may well be many others who are not able to get to hospital or their friends are too afraid to get help.

Thank you for taking the time to read this but I felt that it is an important issue and needs action taking on it.

Constituent, Accrington