Legal Highs

meow meow

Legal Highs is the name given to a group of drugs that are continually being developed and that have changing chemical formulae. Legal Highs is a dangerous term as often they contain illegal substances and the effects of them are not guaranteed to get you ‘high’

They are usually supplied through the internet and are often labelled as “not for human consumption”.  They have not been properly researched so we can’t always know what effects and dangers they might have.  They are sometimes referred to as Research Chemicals or as Novel Psychoactive Compounds (NCPs). Many “Legal Highs” contain or try to replicate mephedrone.

Appearance:
Legal Highs are often supplied as white power but depending on what it is cut with can be various colours. Sometimes they are also in pill form.  They may come in bright packaging and be labelled with attractive sounding names.  Although many of the names suggest a stimulant effect Legal Highs can be stimulants, depressants or hallucinogens – you won’t actually know until you take it and experience the effect.

Slang names:
Meow meow, Miaow, M-Cat, Bath Salts, Bubble, 4MMC, doves, benzo fury, drone, plant food, research chemicals

Main effects:
The main effect will depend on which category of drug your purchase contains.  This can be a stimulant effect like that of mephedrone (which is now a banned substance); it can be a depressant or sedative effect like cannabis or a benzodiazepine or it might be a hallucinogenic effect like LSD or magic mushrooms.  It might also be a combination of effects if the producers have mixed different chemicals.

Dangers:
The biggest danger with this group of drugs is that you can never be sure of what you are taking; there is no reliable information about effects or about possible harms and you could take the same dose on different ocassions and get very different effects.  Despite the common use of the expression Legal Highs you have no way of knowing whether or not they are legal and could be in possession of or supplying an illegal substance.  As changes in the law include more of these so called Legal Highs producers and distributers change the ingredients in the drug and/or the packaging to get around the law.

Social:
Legal Highs are marketed through the internet so it is much more difficult to have a clear picture of when and where they are used.  It is known that a number of people see them as a cheap alternative to cocaine or ecstasy  so there is some association with the party scene.  There is also some rhetorical information from users that they are taking Legal Highs just to get “mashed”.  There are also a number of online forums where users share information as a way of encouraging safer use.

Class:
Despite the name Legal Highs they may well not be a legal substance at all.  Depending what active ingredients the producer has used what you buy could be legal; or it could be any of Class A, B or C or could even fall under the Medicines Act

Type:
Stimulant; Depressant; Halucinogen