U.K. Sees Staggering Rise In 'Legal High' Deaths | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

U.K. Sees Staggering Rise In 'Legal High' Deaths

Despite overall drug use being at record lows, Britain has seen a sudden explosion of deaths related to dietary supplements and laughing gas.

Image: 

Shutterstock

By McCarton Ackerman

02/14/14

| Share

Legal highs could be the biggest drug problem that the U.K. is facing at the moment. The number of drug deaths related to dietary supplements and amphetamine-type substances, among others, has risen by a staggering 800 percent over the last three years. Only 10 of these deaths were reported in 2009, but that number jumped to 68 in 2012. Meanwhile, research from St. George’s University in London showed the number of people with legal drugs in their post-mortem toxicology tests increasing from 12 in 2009 to 97 in 2012.

"We have observed an increase in the number and range of these drugs in the post-mortem toxicology results and in the cause of death of cases notified to us,” said Professor Fabrizio Schifano, spokesman for the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths (NPSAD). “The worrying trend is that these type of drugs are showing up more than ever before. Clearly this is a major public health concern and we must continue to monitor this worrying development." Meanwhile, crime prevention minister Norman Baker is considering measures that will boost the power of police and law enforcement agencies in order to tighten the supply of these substances.

Last July, it was reported that six percent of young adults in England and Wales had used laughing gas, often known there as "hippy crack" as a means of getting high. But while legal highs might be on the rise, drug use overall in England and Wales is at a record low. Around 8.2 percent of 16- to 59-year-olds had used an illicit drug in the last year, compared with 11.1 percent in 1996.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Suboxone: Trading One Prison Cell for Another

Suboxone seemed like a get-out-of-jail-free card, the answer to my opiate addiction. Instead, I had a new ten-year addiction, complete with thinning hair and lost motivation.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv