West End 'legal high' scare

Added on Tuesday 16 Oct 2012

- after children take drugs

Two girls, aged 11 and 12, reportedly needed treatment at the Western Infirmary after taking 'legal high' drugs in Kelvingrove Park - fuelling local concern about uncontrolled substances said to carry terrible risks.

Amid reports from around the country of people needing hospital treatment after using the legal drug Annihalation, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is to ask the government to have it placed on the controlled substances list.

Next week another substance, methoxetamine, will see a temporary ban imposed earlier this year become permanent, and potentially hundreds of other "designer" compounds are also set to be banned.

However the move comes at the same time as fresh controversy over how to deal with already- illegal drugs.

A report for the UK Drug Policy Commission (DPC), describes drug-taking as "moderately risky" - and concludes that government attempts to reduce the availability of illegal drugs have failed.

Slammed by several campaigning groups, the report argues government attempts to control illegal drugs have not only failed but may even have worsened the situation.

It recommends people should be allowed to grow small amounts of herbal cannabis in their homes, so - it's argued - undermining illegal mass production.

'Annihalation'- whose side effects are said to include paranoia and a risk of self-harming - is said to have put at least 11 people in hospital over the past week, of whom most are from Glasgow.

Among concerns about legally-available alternatives to drugs like cannabis is the fear that users will not know how strong the substance is or what effect a particular dose is likely to have.