Legal highs or Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) are substances designed to produce the same or similar effects to drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy but are structurally different enough to avoid being controlled under the legislation. Legal highs cannot be sold for human consumption so they are often sold as bath salts, incense, plant food or advertised as “not for human consumption” to get around the law. The packaging may describe a list of ingredients but you cannot be sure that is what the product will contain.
Just because a substance is sold as ‘legal’ doesn’t mean that it’s safe or legal. You can’t really be sure of what’s in a ‘legal high’ you’ve bought, or been given, or what effect it’s likely to have on you or your friends. We know that many ‘legal highs’ have been linked to poisoning, emergency hospital admissions including in mental health services and, in some cases, deaths.
Start low and go slow. Start with a really small amount. Wait at least an hour before deciding whether or not to take more.
If you snort, chop powders finely first. Don’t inject, but if you do, don’t share works with other people.
Only use one drug at a time – mixing with other drugs can have unpleasant and dangerous side effects.
Don’t use alone – do it with other people you trust and choose a safe environment in which to use.
If you are using an NPS like Mephedrone for sex, remember to carry and use condoms.