Legal highs death rate ‘surging’

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Published: Sunday 7th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Deaths associated with the use of so-called legal highs in England have increased eightfold, rising from 12 in 2009 to 97 in 2012, according to new figures.

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) , which revealed the statistic, has called on the Government to grant police powers to close shops selling the dangerous drugs.

The group stated that the UK has the highest rate of legal highs use among young people in Europe, and said police and courts should be given new powers to close the “head shops” which sell many of the substances.

The CSJ is asking the Government to implement legislation similar to laws introduced in Ireland in 2010, which saw the number of head shops in the country fall from more than 100 to less than 10.

The organisation also revealed that the number of people in treatment in England for taking legal highs has jumped by 216% over the last five years, rising from 738 in 2009/10 to 2,339 last year

CSJ director Christian Guy said: “This is yet another wake-up call to the dangers of so-called ‘legal highs’.

“Legal highs are destroying lives – it is time to get tough on those making a living out of selling them.

“The UK is already the addicted man of Europe with some of the worst rates of heroin, crack and alcohol abuse – tackling legal highs needs to be a priority.”

In the past five years the number of people in treatment for use of mephedrone, which was banned in 2010, rose by 95%. For GBL/GHB use, banned in 2009, figures rose by 75%.

The number of people in treatment for the use of ketamine, which became illegal in 2006, increased by 40%.

Published: Sunday 7th December 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (1)
  • The New Impostor

    “number of people in treatment in England for taking legal highs has jumped by 216% over the last five years, rising from 738 in 2009/10 to 2,339 last year”. What is the source of these statistics – they are not in the reference given at the end of the article, nor can I find them anywhere else. According to the treatment statistics report referred to in the article, there were 144 people receiving treatment for NPS use in 2013/14…

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