LONDON, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The drugs charity Angelus, which raises awareness about the danger of legal highs, derided the Government ban on the drugs Benzo Fury and NBOMe as, "papering over the cracks".
These drugs (seven compounds in total) have been controlled for 12 months under a Temporary Class Drug Order. Angelus maintains that drug controls are not changing patterns of use and that the Government must invest in drug education and legislate to stop the sale of legal highs on the high street.
Last year, a new drug was discovered on average every six days (European Drug Monitoring Centre figures). The untested drugs can be bought very easily from hundreds of high street headshops and online. Hospitalisations from legal highs have increased by 358 percent.
The founder of Angelus, Maryon Stewart, said, "These are dangerous substances: Benzo Fury is a strong stimulant and NBOMe is a powerful psychedelic. So the Government is right to be concerned about them. But the answer cannot be just another series of bans, that doesn't change how young people think or act and to present it as such is just papering over the cracks.
" Drugs education is still optional in this country when young people need to learn about the massive risks they are taking with legal highs. We also want the Government to take firm action against these reckless retailers, like they have in Ireland and Portugal."
Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Prof. Les Iversen said (15 May), "Our problem is to know how many of these are really being used in this country and how harmful they are. This is difficult because we can't possibly address all classes of compound at once, unless we and the government can think of clever ways of regulating."
Notes to editors:
1) Maryon Stewart lost her daughter to GBL and established the Angelus Foundation. It is the only drugs charity dedicated to combating legal highs and club drugs and launched a national campaign in October including the website http://www.whynotfindout.org. There is also a site for families http://www.angelusfoundation.com.
2) In July, Scotland's largest health board in Glasgow reported a 358% rise in the number of young people needing emergency treatment after taking legal highs. It many cases, patients only survived after "urgent specialist treatment".
3) A temporary class drug is a controlled drug within the meaning of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and other relevant legislation. Importation, exportation, production and supply of a temporary class drug will be prohibited without lawful authority. Offences committed under the 1971 Act in relation to a temporary class drug will be subject to maximum penalties of 14 years' imprisonment and an unlimited fine on indictment, and 6 months' imprisonment and a £5,000 fine on summary conviction. Simple possession of a temporary class drug is not an offence. However, law enforcement officers will have powers to seize and destroy a temporary class drug.
4) There are a total of seven compounds to be controlled.
The stimulant substances recommended for control are:
5- and 6-APB: (1-(benzofuran-5-yl)-propan-2-amine and 1-(benzofuran-6-yl)-propan- 2-amine) and their N-methyl derivatives.
5- and 6-APDB: (1-(2,3-dihydro-1-benzofuran-5-yl)-propan-2-amine and 1-(2,3- dihydro-1-benzofuran-6-yl)-propan-2-amine), and their N-methyl derivatives
5- and 6-IT: (2-(1H-indol-5-yl)-1-methylethylamine and 2-(1H-indol-6-yl)-1- methylethylamine).
'NBOMe' compounds recommended for control are:
Angelus Foundation is a registered charity registered in England and Wales (Number 1139830).
Registered office: 50 Broadway, London, SW1H 0BL
SOURCE Angelus Foundation