Over recent months the number of call-outs relating to legal highs has risen substantially. In some areas of the UK ambulance services have seen cases triple, but suspect the true figures are even higher. This puts a huge strain on the NHS as in a lot of cases the effects of legal highs are completely unpredictable and difficult to manage.
The main reason why this is the case is because of the contents of legal highs. Research was carried out were two identically packaged legal highs were purchased from the same website on the same day. Then, when the substances were analysed they turned out to be two completely different chemical compounds. With inconsistencies like this in the drugs it makes it impossible for medical staff to have a standard protocol when treating patients.
With the substance compounds varying and the side effects being unpredictable it puts medical staff in a very difficult and often vulnerable position. In an interview with Sky News, Cameron McVittie (a paramedic) had this to say:
“One minute you can treat a patient who is unconscious and you are managing an airway, the next minute they are up and trying to attack you. It is unacceptable that we, or hospital staff when they get to hospital, have to put up with it.”
With an ever changing range of legal highs being made available to purchase the problem is only expected to get worse. The only real solution to this problem is educating people on the dangers of legal highs. These substances are not made for human consumption and are unsafe.
For more information on Legal Highs please consult the sites below: