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Officially described as new psychoactive substances NPSlegal highs - or deer drugs - have been linked to a of deaths and hospital admissions over the years. What are these drugs? Legal highs are psychoactive drugs that contain various chemical ingredients, some of which are illegal while others are not. They produce similar effects to illegal highss like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy.

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Forensic testing of NPS has shown that they often contain different substances to what the packaging says, or mixtures of different substances.

If a severe downer withdrawal syndrome develops in a heavy drug user, it can be particularly dangerous and the person affected may need medical treatment. Some people feel very anxious soon after they stop taking downer type drugs.

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Because they cannot be labelled as being for human consumption, they are often marketed as plant food, bath salts or incense. When you buy new psychoactive substances, you can never be sure hihs what you're buying is what it's claimed to be.

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Where have legal highs been banned? Injecting any drug is particularly dangerous because a drug is more likely to reach harmful or fatal levels by this route. The pills and capsules vary widely in size, shape and colour. While drugs in each of these will be similar in the effects they produce, they will have widely different strengths and effects on different people.

New psychoactive substances

Stimulants Stimulants like mephedrone and naphyrone act like amphetaminescocaineor ecstasyin that they can make you feel energised, physically active, fast-thinking, very chatty and euphoric. Officially described as new psychoactive substances NPSlegal highs - or deer drugs - have been linked to a of deaths and hospital admissions over the years. Some people feel very anxious soon after they stop taking downers, and if a severe withdrawal syndrome develops in heavy drug users, it can be particularly dangerous and may need medical treatment.

They are either stimulants making users feel energisedsedatives making users feel relaxed or euphoricor psychedelics altering perceptions and making users hallucinate. These drugs can interfere with your judgement, which could put you at risk of acting carelessly or dangerously, and of hurting yourself, particularly in an unsafe environment.

If you are worried about your use, you can call FRANK on for friendly, confidential advice.

How are they sold? If the police catch people supplying illegal drugs in a formu, club, bar or hostel, they can potentially prosecute the landlord, club owner or any other person concerned in the management of the premises.

Legal highs forum

How it feels Hghs does it make you feel? They produce similar effects to illegal drugs like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy. In addition to the UK's ban, in the Irish Republic it is an offence to advertise, sell, supply, import or export psychoactive substances.

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The packaging is usually deed to get your attention using a catchy brand name and bright colours. There have been reports of some people injecting NPS. Legal highs are psychoactive drugs that contain various chemical ingredients, some of which are illegal while others are not. So that regular NPS use, particularly drugs with sedative or stimulant effects, could potentially lead to a compulsion to use or even a risk of withdrawal symptoms when you stop using them.

A study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which looked at the issue of NPS abuse on a global scale, said: "The use of NPS that poses a health threat has grown rapidly over the past decade and there have been increasing reports of the hlghs and manufacture of such substances.

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Synthetic cannabinoids Synthetic cannabinoids like Spice or Black Mamba : act similarly to cannabis. New psychoactive substances are sold in different forms such as powders, pills, smoking mixtures, liquids, capsules, or on perforated tabs.

Legal highs forum

highz Worried about new psychoactive substances use? They can also affect your central nervous system, and lead to seizures, fast heart rates, high blood pressure, sweating, increased body temperature, being agitated and being combative ready to fight.

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Sharing injecting equipment such as needles or syringes, runs the additional risks of catching or spreading viruses such as HIV or hepatitis C. Below are some of the risks broken down by type of new psychoactive substance. Hallucinogens Hallucinogens or psychedelics like N-bomb drugs act like LSDmagic mushroomsketamine and methoxetamine.

Legal highs forum

Mixing Is it dangerous to mix with other drugs? The substances are often sold in "head shops" alongside drug paraphernalia. The smoking mixtures tend to come in colourful packaging, often with labels describing the contents as incense or herbal smoking mixture, and the contents look like dried herbs, vegetable matter or plant cuttings.

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The risks can be increased when legal highs are taken with alcohol or with another psychoactive drug. They are sold in a variety of forms - powder, pills, liquids, capsules, perforated tabs and smoking mixtures, to name a few. Downers or sedative NPS These can reduce inhibitions and concentration, slow down your reactions and make you feel lethargic, forgetful or physically unsteady, placing you at risk of accidents.

Also, veins can be damaged by the injecting process and an abscess or blood clot may develop, which can then cause serious health problems like blood infection or heart problems.

Legal highs

Drug-driving, including after using a legal high, is illegal. What is new psychoactive substances cut with? Many of these risks are increased if the drug is combined with alcohol or with another psychoactive drug.

Legal highs forum

There have been cases of death too. They may give your immune system a battering so you might get more colds, flu and sore throats. Stimulant NPS These can make you feel overconfident and disinhibited, induce feelings of anxiety, panic, confusion, paranoia, and even cause psychosis, which can lead you to put your own safety at risk. The chemicals contained in legal highs have not been tested for safety, so users cannot be sure what the outcome will be.

Like drink-driving, driving when high is dangerous and illegal. Supply and production can get you up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

Legal highs forum

Synthetic cannabinoids These could lead to severe or even life-threatening intoxication when taken in sufficiently larger doses.