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Police probe whether man died after taking Spice

Spice – which mimics the effects of cannabis – was targeted by new laws on so-called “legal highs” last year.

Detectives are investigating whether a 30-year-old man died after taking the drug known as Spice.

The man was found unresponsive in Taunton, Somerset, and subsequently died. Six other people exhibited symptoms but did not attend hospital for treatment. Avon and Somerset Police are investigating whether there is an evidential link between the incidents.

There is information to suggest that some of those affected may have taken the Psychoactive Substance (PS) commonly referred to as Spice.

Detective Chief Inspector Liz Hughes said: “These are clearly serious incidents and we are warning people not to take these so-called legal highs. If you take a PS you are playing roulette with your health.

“Many of these types of products have not been tested on humans and can contain chemicals which, if consumed, can leave you at a grave risk of suffering serious ill health and can even prove fatal.”

The substances are often sold as plant food, incense or research chemicals, with some labelled “not fit for human consumption”. They often have product names similar to the street drugs they mimic.

Spice – which mimics the effects of cannabis – has emerged as a street drug alongside heroin and crack after it was targeted by new laws on so-called “legal highs” last year.

Police were called to Wheatley Crescent in Taunton at 3.45pm on Wednesday by the ambulance service. The seven people affected were all known to each other and were at the same address. It is believed the 30-year-old man was unresponsive when emergency services arrived.

Police are now investigating the supply of the highs – an offence under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. A spokeswoman for South Western Ambulance Service said: “We were called twice to an address at Wheatley Crescent in Taunton on April 26, at 3.14pm and 6.37pm. All details are now with the police.”

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