Cocktail of chemicals that can kill
Legal highs are psychoactive chemicals yet to be criminalised which can give a high when smoked, snorted, swallowed or inhaled.
While it is legal for so-called “head shops” like UK Skunkworks to sell these products, along with paraphernalia associated with the consumption of cannabis and other illegal drugs, shoppers must be aged 18 or over.
They must also label all such products as “not for human consumption”, and staff may not advise people on how they can be consumed.
The products sold in branches of UK Skunkworks, which start from £7.50, often come in bright and colourful packaging, with names allud- ing to drug use, including Charley Sheen, Euphoria, Go Gaine, Disco Biscuits and Jack & Jills, both slang terms for ecstasy pills.
Some stores may also stock “ethnobotanicals”, plant-derived substances known to have a psychoactive effect.
Side effects of consuming legal highs may include extreme paranoia, psychotic visions (reporting seeing demons, monsters, foreign soldiers, or aliens), violent behaviour, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), chest pain, confusion, high blood pressure, sweating, hyper-alertness, sleep deprivation, agitation, extreme anxiety, hallucinations, bruxism (teeth grinding), compulsive water drinking, motor automatisms (compulsive repeated hand washing), tremors, seizures and even death.