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Legal highs warning after police discover paraphernalia in Carrickfergus

By Deborah McAleese

Published 26/06/2015

Adam Owens died taking legal highs
Adam Owens died taking legal highs

Police have issued a warning following the discovery of dangerous ‘legal high’ paraphernalia in Carrickfergus.

Items were found in the Menorca Drive/Cadiz Manor of the town in recent days, police said.

Amid concern over the sale and use of ‘legal high’ drugs, officers will be targeting a number of areas where there have been complaints about anti-social behaviour and possible drug use, Inspector Martin Ruddy said.

He added: “I understand that the sale and use of legal highs is an issue of community concern in Carrickfergus. Police continue to work with residents, the local council and health authorities to ensure that anything which could compromise the safety of the public is taken off the streets.”

Mr Ruddy warned that the phrase ‘legal high’ is misleading.

“The substances are presented as being legal, but they may contain substances that are harmful to health. The technical phrase is ‘psychoactive substance’. There are risks involved in taking mind altering substances - whether or not they are legal,” he said.

The Inspector added: “With mind altering substances, you can never be sure of exactly what you are taking, or what possible side effects it could have. Everyone has personal responsibility, but I would encourage people to think about the potential consequences. Is the perceived benefit really worth the risk?”

He warned that these psychoactive substances are not tested or designed for use by humans and the long term physical and mental health effects are not known.

“Over the coming weeks we will be proactively targeting certain areas following complaints about anti-social behaviour and possible drug use. We will continue to robustly tackle these issues,” he said.

Inspector Ruddy appealed to parents to parents to make sure they know where their children are and who they are with.

The parents of a teenager from County Down who was found dead have called for a ban on “legal high” drugs.

There has been increasing concern over the use of ‘legal highs’.

In April the parents of a teenage boy called for a ban on the substances after he was found dead in Newtownards.

The family of 17 year-old Adam Owens, said ‘legal high’ drugs transformed him “from a happy intelligent young man into a suicidal teenager”.

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