A Worksop dad who watched his teenage son’s life fall apart after he became addicted to ‘legal highs’ has welcomed a move to ban five substances commonly found in the untested drugs.
The dad, who does not wish to be identified, said he was ‘devastated’ to discover that his son was spending over £10 a day on the psychoactive drugs, selling personal belongings to fund his addiction which later led to self-harming.
He added: “My child was previously a normal happy teenager and the drugs had a devastating effect, the mental state was probably the worst thing to witness as a parent.”
“Parents need to keep a look out for changes in appearance and behaviour with their children. My child started to look pale and sweaty, and had dilated pupils. He also lost his appetite and stayed awake most evenings.”
“There’s this perception that these are harmless substances, but I want people to understand that so-called legal highs are very dangerous - they can ruin lives and kill.”
Five compounds relating to Methylphenidate, a Class B drug which is commonly used in legal highs, are now subject to a Temporary Class Drug Order, which prohibits the making, supply and importing of such substances.
Ethyphenidate, one of the drugs being banned, has emerged as an alternative to cocaine and is being sold using the street name ‘Gogaine’.
Notts County Council is currently working with Notts Police to explore new police powers to clamp down on shops caught selling the untested drugs.
Paul McKay, service director for access and public protection at Notts County Council, said: “The banning of five substances is a step in the right direction as current laws don’t give a clear legal position on these drugs, which makes it very difficult for Trading Standards officers and the police to clamp down on shops selling such substances.”
“This distressing case shows that these substances can be very destructive to human health and have the potential to devastate local communities so we strongly encourage people to avoid these substances at all costs.”
We are working our police colleagues to see if they can use anti-social powers to respond to this problem whilst we wait for new legislation that will impose an outright ban.”
“I encourage local residents to make us aware of any suppliers of these substances by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
The Government is proposing to ban all ‘psychoactive’ chemicals other than caffeine and alcohol – a move that has already taken place in the Republic of Ireland.