The Angelus Foundation Warn Against the use of 'Legal Highs' After a 19-Year-old man who Died at the RockNess Festival is Suspected of Taking Legal High 'Benzo Fury'

LONDON, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Alex Herriot, 19, collapsed in the main area at the festival on Saturday 9th June. The teenager was stabilised in the hospital tent before being transferred to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. Two members of his party were also hospitalised after consuming the drug and police are currently investigating whether Benzo Fury was the cause of his death. Sadly, Alex failed to respond to treatment and died in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Maryon Stewart lost her 21-year-old daughter Hester to the 'legal high' GBL, which is paint stripper, and went on to set up the Angelus Foundation to raise awareness about the dangers of 'legal highs' and party drugs. "Yet another family receives a life sentence as a result of the death of a family member from a legal high," says Maryon. "It's deeply disappointing that the Government isn't taking emergency steps to raise awareness."

"The first thing to know about Benzo Fury is that it's not a benzo (diazepine) drug like Valium," says Maryon. "Benzo Fury is a branded name for a research chemical and legal high. It is a synthetic powder which gives an incredible rush, bringing increased energy and heart rate, giving a combination of amphetamine and ecstasy type high. Very little is known about it yet so people who take it are guessing the correct amounts so overdose is always a risk."

There were 49 new substances identified in 2011. 'Legal highs' are often a combination of Class B drugs and chemicals never intended for human consumption. They can cause serious harm including severe psychosis, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, heavy nose bleeds, difficulty breathing and, in the case of ketamine, loss of the use of organs like the bladder.  Due to lack of awareness, huge numbers of young people play Russian Roulette with their lives, unknowingly taking party drugs on a regular basis believing they are safe because they are legal.

The Angelus Foundation is the only charity in the world taking responsibility for this area: raising awareness, reducing harm and saving young lives. They work alongside Government, health bodies, schools and other charities in identifying, investigating and publicising these risks. The Angelus Foundation also funds research and creates and publicises educational films and campaigns.  

"The sad death of Alex Herriot reminds us that just because a drug is legal, it does not mean it is safe," says Maryon. "The case for a huge education campaign is amplified by the ever escalating number of substances being detected and deaths reported. The Angelus Foundation strives to highlight these risks and encourages young people to make informed, responsible choices and lead safer lives."

For further information please contact:
Ally Gill at the Angelus Foundation on +44(0)845-1771070
Maryon Stewart at the Angelus Foundation on +44(0)7973-713139
allygill@angelusfoundation.com
maryonstewart@angelusfoundation.com

SOURCE Angelus Foundation



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