'Legal high' that hospitalised Blackburn teenager to be banned
A CONTROVERSIAL ‘legal high’, on sale in shops in East Lancashire, is set to be banned by the government.
‘Annihilation’ is among hundreds of new synthetic ‘designer’ compound drugs, many of which imitate the effects of controlled drugs, such as cannabis or ecstasy, that the government’s drugs advisers are to recommend to be banned this week.
It left a 15-year-old boy needing hospital treatment after taking the drug in Blackburn last month.
The teenager, from Darwen, collapsed near Pleasington playing fields after taking just one hit of ‘Annihilation’.
The drug, which is sold as pot pourri and is labelled ‘herbal incense’, despite featuring an image of an atom bomb explosion on the packet, is smoked like cannabis.
The youngster was with 15 friends near Hillcrest Road when his mother said he took one drag of the drug, at 4.45pm last Saturday.
Professor Les Iversen, the chairman of the government’s Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), said ‘Annihilation’ was a particularly potent compound that had left young people hospitalised in Glasgow and Blackburn.
He said youngsters had become severely agitated and over-stimulated after taking it. Strathclyde Police have said that three people were hospitalised in Glasgow after taking it at the same time earlier this month.
“Just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it's safe. No-one can predict the risks involved,” said Detective Inspector Jim Bradley.
“Those who have taken the drug have experienced adverse health effects, including increased heart rate, unconsciousness, numbness in legs causing collapse, paranoia, aggression and self-harming.
“The symptoms appear, in some cases, to last for several hours.”
The drugs advisers will also this week confirm a ban on the first legal high to be controlled under the government’s new “temporary banning legislation”.
They are expected to tell the Home Secretary that the evidence exists to retain the ban on methoxetamine, which was placed on a temporary class drug order in April.