The Effects of Legal Highs

New Psychoactive Substances are dangerous substances, because you can never be entirely sure what is in them (and a lot of what is can be very harmful to your body). Find out more about the side-effects you can experience with 'legal highs.'

It's difficult for doctors to help

Dr Richard Stevenson, who works at the A&E department at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, talked about the dangers of the unknown nature of these substances:

“...we are getting quite poisonous chemicals that even as doctors we don’t know what they do to humans”

This means that unlike other illegal drugs, doctors aren't sure how they impact your body and how to cure you. 

What happens in A&E

He described what he has seen legal highs do to young peoples bodies:

"Their body temperature starts to rise to dangerous levels and that causes their muscles to effectively liquefy... that leads to multi-organ failure, their kidneys block up, their livers fail... it's a horrendous way to die"

Long term impacts

And the Scottish Drugs Forum found the following long term effects:

  • Comedowns that can make people feel suicidal
  • Increase in mental health issues including psychosis, paranoia and anxiety
  • Depression

Remember: all dealers and suppliers care about is making a profit – they don’t care about the purity or the safety of whatever you are taking. The best way to stay safe is avoid these dangerous substances altogether.

So-called 'legal highs' are now illegal. Possessing these substances with  the intent to supply (sell them to other people), offering to supply (like giving some to your mates) or importing legal highs (buying them from internet sites based abroad to be delivered here) can mean you can get up to 7 years in prison and/or a fine.