Legal high guinea pigs pay big price
Ban comes too late to mend harmful consequences
Legal Highs: Why are we making it easy for our young people to fry their brains? Nearly everyone I speak to, regarding the ‘‘legal highs’’ issue, is horrified and acutely concerned about the adverse results from the sale of highly toxic substances.
The Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 was enacted in July last year by our politicians by a whopping majority of 119 votes to 1.
The permissiveness of this law is evidence, that drug taking for recreational use has become deeply embedded in our culture.
This law legitimised 41 ‘‘legal high’’ chemical compounds, which were being sold in shops up and down the country.
They had temporary approval for sale until the testing regime was introduced!
In other words, the ‘‘legal high’’ manufacturers were aided and abetted by our politicians, to use the people in New Zealand as guinea pigs.
I heard toxicologist expert Dr. Leo Schep, of the National Poisons Centre on National radio talk about the evidence that has been collected regarding the serious side effects of legal highs.
These are a rapid heart rate, acute vomiting, agitation, seizures, psychosis, hallucinations, acute kidney injury, heart attacks and strokes. The cost, to the health sector from the carnage of this liberal legislation will be massive.
A quarter of calls to the National Poison Centre helpline, is about legal high side effects and have come from those under 18 years old.
Even though the Government has done an about face last week and revoked the sales of ‘‘legal highs’’, irreparable harm has already been done to many people, particularly our youth.
There is no doubt that this will have also have increased the number of people who have become addicted and require help from our straitened health services
So how do we protect our younger generation from frying their brains?
Don’t look for help from our lawmakers; they have been singularly inept and negligent.
As adults we have the responsibility and a duty of care for the well being of the next generation.
Individually and collectively we need to come up with protection strategies for our youth.
Before we have a high proportion of the next generation riddled with high dependency and reduced mental faculties. ◗ Dame Sukhi Turner, citizen of Wanaka and Dunedin Mayor 1995-2004