The newest legal drugs are just as dangerous, if less well known

As a new wave of legal highs takes Britain by storm, the tabloid press are waking up to easy stories of abuse

As someone who rarely goes outside, the internet is a valuable friend whose constancy and companionship have outlasted many transitory connections I made to the outside world. And, as those who have read my past Nouse stuff may know, one of my favourite pursuits is reading The Sun’s marvellous website. Giving the hilariously obese specimens of our good nation a brief respite, the red top’s current bugbear is the legal high.

Starting last year with videos of people off their faces on Salvia (a herb known to move those who smoke it to ‘the subjective realm’), in the past couple of weeks reports have emerged of the adverse affects of Mephedrone, sold legally as plant fertilizer. A 14 year-old girl died after taking the drug with ketamine, and Durham police recently urged authorities to stamp out the drug’s circulation after one unfortunate user elected to tear off his scrotum. He had believed, possibly after reading some choice passages of La Nausée, that centipedes had taken root in his genitalia.

“The drug is said to emulate the effects of a mix of coke and ecstasy”

Naturally, Mephedrone is all the rage in university towns across the country. All of this is to be expected, but alarmingly the drug is said to emulate the effects of a mix of coke and ecstasy, as well as being dirt cheap and readily available. A quick Google search yields several sites selling the drug for the purposes of ‘research’. The largest provider offers ten grams for £80, while a child-sized half-gram is a snip at £7. By comparison, a gram of coke normally fetches £30-60 dependent upon region.

Though stripping one’s septum with bastardised Miracle-Gro hardly represents my idea of fun, the craze scarcely comes as a surprise. Two years ago animal worming tablets were a popular option on the reveller’s menu.

On the few occasions I crossed the threshold this term, Mephedrone abuse has been all too clear. Local nights at York and further afield in Leeds and Liverpool have seen young people dipping their keys into small, grimy bags of white powder. This year, those who don’t see drug use as particularly harmful have been given ammunition with comments from fired drug advisor David Nutt.

However, Mephedrone provides such an easy access point to hard drugs that this may make steering clear a wise decision.

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