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Woman warns of 'completely deadly' legal highs after death of second brother

Published 13/05/2016

The drugs can be bought online and are marketed as 'safe, fun, cheap and completely legal'
The drugs can be bought online and are marketed as 'safe, fun, cheap and completely legal'

The sister of two men "blighted with addiction" has warned about the dangers of so-called legal highs after the substances were linked to their deaths.

Melanie Downie shared her story on social media after her brother Simon McGough, 37, died on May 6 - three years after the death of her other brother William at the age of 30.

Speaking about the two men, she said addiction had "chewed them up and spat them out".

Mrs Downie, from Kilbirnie in North Ayrshire, warned that although the substances are marketed as "safe, fun, cheap and completely legal", they can also be "completely deadly".

She wrote on Facebook: "These manufacturers should be prosecuted. The websites hosting these pages should be held accountable.

"Kids and young people up and down the country are dying from drugs you can buy online. How many more families have to go through this?

"Please don't feel sorry for me. Feel sorry for my two poor brothers. Feel sorry for my mum and dad, from three children to one in the space of three years.

"Feel sorry for every single addict up and down this country with no support available, nowhere to turn to.

"Legal highs should be banned. The danger of these drugs needs to be highlighted."

A blanket ban on the substances and new enforcement powers are due to come into force across the UK at the end of this month.

The legislation will ban any production, supply and importation or exportation of the drugs, said to be linked to 112 deaths in Scotland in 2014.

Mrs Downie said Simon had posted on his Facebook page in the days before his death that he was supportive of the upcoming ban.

" It was almost like he needed the ban so he couldn't get them so easily. He was a big advocate of getting rid of the drugs that he was addicted to", she told the BBC.

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