Barrow MP's legal high warnings after fatality figures released
Last updated at 16:26, Monday, 02 September 2013
LEGAL highs are “destroying lives” an MP has warned, after government figures showed the number of deaths from the substances almost doubled in 12 months.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed the number of deaths relating to legal highs rose from 29 in 2011 to 52 in 2012.
Use of legal highs has rocketed and has led to growing concern, with police and health experts issuing pleas for young people in South Cumbria to be wary of the substances.
The ONS has said while the figures remain relatively low, they are rapidly becoming part of drug problems in the UK.
The Evening Mail has launched the Ban Them Now Campaign in light of the growing concern and is calling for an immediate education programme about legal highs and for government to ban psychoactive substances.
John Woodcock, Barrow and Furness MP, secured a promise from drugs minister Jeremy Browne to review the UK’s laws.
Speaking about the figures Mr Woodcock said: “This is a shocking increase in deaths as a result of these lethal substances and shows that legal highs are increasingly responsible for destroying lives not just in Barrow, but across the country.
“These statistics highlight the importance of the Evening Mail’s campaign against legal highs and show that ministers need to act urgently to make sure the law is fit for purpose in this area.
“When I introduced amendments to make prosecutions for supplying legal highs easier, the government promised it would act – I shall be pressing them to make good on those promises urgently in the light of these statistics.”
Superintendent Mark Pannone of Cumbria police said: “The increase in deaths caused by legal highs emphasises the dangers of these substances.
“Young people are putting themselves at significant risk by taking substances when they have no idea what they are made of.”
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First published at 15:59, Monday, 02 September 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
i wonder if the last comment was made by a self interested politician? well done John Woodcock for raising the profile of the dangers faced by our children. thankyou.
John Woodcock, MP clearly has acute tunnel vision if he thinks 52 alleged deaths from legal highs needs so much more attention than the 80,000 preventable deaths due to tobacco and the 8,790 alcohol related deaths. Talk about losing all perspective!