Drug addicts playing Russian roulette say Beds police

Drug users are playing ‘Russian roulette’ with new psychoactive substances, often mistakenly called ‘legal highs’ say Beds police.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 30th November 2013, 9:12 am
Eastbourne Hastings Bexhill Rye Battle Herald Observer
Eastbourne Hastings Bexhill Rye Battle Herald Observer

In a week long campaign, the force is contacting known drug users to raise awareness of the risks of drugs bought online

Those known to be dealing psychoactive substances are also the subject of criminal investigation.

The drugs are typically sold on line as ‘research chemicals’, ‘plant food’, ‘bath salts’ or ‘pond cleaner’ and while labelled not fit for human consumption, are extremely dangerous and often contain illegal Class A drugs instead of the chemicals advertised.

Steve Easton, strategic drugs lead for Bedfordshire Police said the rapid increase in these types of drugs makes it difficult to keep track of what is for sale but warning people of the dangers is vital.

He said: “Nationally 52 people have died as a result of taking these chemicals so the national week of action is an opportunity to ensure people in Bedfordshire understand the dangers of new psychoactive substances.

“While they are often sold as ‘legal highs’ they are unlikely to be legal and possessing them is a serious criminal offence.

“They are also potential lethal and it is important people realise this.

“The reality is new drugs are being developed at alarming speed with 62 new substances identified so far in 2012.

“When new drugs like this are developed no one knows what effect they are going to have so anybody who uses them is playing Russian roulette for two reasons.

“Firstly when you buy such a drug you have no way of telling what it really is and secondly, even if it is the drug advertised you have no idea of what it’s going to do to you. There is no such a thing as a safe dose.”

Bedfordshire Police and the Bedfordshire Drug Action Team and Luton Drug and Alcohol Partnership would like to remind people that:

If you or a friend takes a drug and becomes unwell call 999 immediately

If you choose to take a drug, don’t take a second pill because you think it isn’t working.

Some drugs take a lot longer than others to take effect and you can never be sure about what you have taken.

If you need advice or information about drugs please call:

North Bedfordshire: 01234 352220 / South Bedfordshire: 01582 501780 / Luton: 01582 439480.