Health Minister reaffirms warnings over “legal highs”

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Friday, May 22nd, 2015
Community
Health Minister Simon Hamilton has repeated warnings about the dangers of taking so called “legal highs”. legalhighs1The Minister was responding to a Private Members’ Motion to express concerns about legal highs. The Minister said, “The key message that needs to come from the Chamber today is that these substances are not safe. Let’s be clear, taking any substance that has not been prescribed for you come with real risks. “These New Psychoactive Substances, or “legal highs” as they are commonly known, have not been tested, they don’t go through quality assurance, there is no way of knowing what they actually contain, and therefore they are potentially more dangerous than drugs such as ecstasy or cannabis.” In 2013, provisional figures show that 115 people died from drug-related causes: 76 males and 34 females. 78 of these deaths are classified as due to drug misuse. Welcoming the action taken by Belfast City Council, supported by a range of key agencies, against “head-shops” actively selling “legal highs” the Minister said, “I welcome the Forfeiture Order and injunction against one premise selling these substances anywhere in Northern Ireland. “I know that other Councils have been watching Belfast’s approach and I hope this will encourage them to take similar action in their areas.”

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