Legal Highs – What you need to know
(click on the links below to see the cartoons)
The Law is changing re Legal Highs which is great news, they will be illegal to sell, produce and distribute however we know that these substances will still be available and will still be used, as other illegal substances are. Information, advice and support will continue to be needed.
The Oasis Partnership Legal High Harm Reduction Campaign is aimed at anyone who may be using legal highs, new psychoactive substances or club/party drugs (legal or illegal). Our aim is to raise awareness of the potential dangers associated with taking these substances.
To do this we have developed 3 cartoon characters, Ophelia BItt-Tripp, Ivor Spliff and Buzz Shitegear, aimed at getting your attention and signposting you to angelusfoundation.org and whynotfindout.org, both these sites provide information and advice aimed at reducing the harms associated with legal high's and new psychoactive substances. We are using a wide variety of publicity and marketing tools and maximising social media opportunities to raise awareness.
Oasisfest is part of the harm reduction campaign, where staff and volunteers attend local music festivals clubs and community venues raising awareness of the campaign, and talking to people about legal high concerns. Look at our Facebook page for weekly campaign updates and follow us on twitter to keep up to date with this fast moving phenomenon.
What are 'legal highs'?
Legal highs' are substances designed to act like existing illegal drugs like cannabis, amphetamines or LSD.
They're not always banned in the UK. That's often because they're so new, that research hasn't been done to find out their dangers. Because they're not allowed to be sold for human consumption, legal highs are sometimes advertised as other chemicals like bath salts or plant food.
What's in them?
Who knows? It's impossible to know what's in a 'legal high' before you buy it, or even afterwards. But many so-called 'legal highs' do contain banned substances - and many have been linked to emergency hospital admissions and even death.
What will they do to me?
Different 'legal highs' have different effects on your body and mind. Like other psychoactive drugs, they fall mostly into three main categories:
- SEDATIVES (or downers)
- PSYCHEDELICS (or hallucinogens)
These 'legal highs' give similar effects to speed, cocaine or ecstasy. They give you a 'buzz' - you might feel full of energy and confidence if you take them. But they can also make you feel:
Theses 'legal highs' mimic the effects of cannabis, diazepam, Valium or GHB/GBL. You can feel relaxed, giggly and reduce your inhibitions. But bad effects include:
- feeling sleepy
- losing concentration
- slow reactions.
These 'legal highs' give you similar reactions to LSD,
magic mushrooms or ketamine. You can feel warm, euphoric and spiritual, but also risk getting:
- bad judgements
- erratic behaviour.
Legal highs' have usually not been tested - you're the lab rat. Many 'legal highs' aren't legal at all - they can contain controlled, dangerous substances. You can't tell what's in a 'legal high' just by looking it.