You may have heard of the term ‘legal high’, also known as ‘club drugs’, but not know what they are and the possible effects they may have when consumed. The term ‘legal’ does not mean safe. Give this article a quick read to ensure your legal high savvy and stay safe this Freshers’.
‘Legal highs’ have become extremely popular in the past few years due to being sold legally as such things as plant food, herbal incense and bath salts to avoid being controlled by the law as their intent is not for human consumption. They are mostly taken in clubs and on nights out with the intent to feel ‘high’ or euphoric, they have been known to give the same effects as illegal highs. However as they are not under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 yet, they are not banned from human consumption; this does not mean they are safe to use. Minimal research has been done to test these legal drugs and therefore the long-term or short-term effects of these drugs are unknown. As ‘legal highs’ are not regulated for human consumption, the chemical ingredients in these substances can be changed without any warning, making the effects of ‘legal highs’ even more of a mystery. Don’t be fooled by the packaging of ‘legal highs’ as they sometimes mention that they are ‘herbal’ and not illegal. There is no evidence to claim that these drugs are in fact herbal. Don’t be misled by that as the strength of the drug is also unknown, nature can be powerful.
‘Legal highs’ are sold as powders, capsules, pills, seeds, liquids and crystals and come in three categories; stimulants, sedatives and hallucinogenic drugs all of which have possible risks that could seriously damage an individual if consumed.
Stimulants are drugs used to make a person feel confident and less restrained; along with this they induce paranoia, anxiety, panic and confusion. They can put a strain on your heart and immune system meaning you could end up getting every type of cold this winter and feeling very down for a while are taking them.
‘Downers’ or Sedatives are drugs that reduce your inhibitions and slow down reaction time. These types of ‘legal highs’ can cause you to fall unconscious, into a coma and in some instances die when mixed with other drugs and alcohol. They may cause individuals to feel extremely down after consuming.
Hallucinogenic drugs are those that may cause you to feel like your body is not your own which can cause you to act abusive towards your own body, for example falling over, into walls etc.
Now there are hundreds of forms of ‘legal highs’, however you may have heard of such legal highs as Poppers or Laughing Gas both of which are drugs which can deprive you of oxygen and result in death, these popular drugs tend to be taken at festivals and in clubs, they are in no way safe for human consumption.
If you are ever offered a legal high simply say no. The unknown effects of taking legal highs are not worth risking your health as well as your degree. Legal highs can become massively addictive, you came to university to better yourself so don’t let one legal high ruin that. So be sure to stay safe this Freshers’ and have a time to remember.
We want to ensure that your Freshers’ experience is the best it can possibly be, so be sure to stay aware of legal highs! If you need any help regarding drugs you can email LJMU Student Health and Wellbeing or phone 0151 231 3579.
For more information on 'legal highs' visit FRANK or NHS.
Also you can show your support for this campaign by sharing your thoughts about ‘legal highs’ by tweeting us @LiverpoolSU using the hashtag #LegalHighHeavyLow don’t forget to mention us so we can retweet you.