In 2014 there were 60 deaths associated with legal highs, products which can be bought on the high street.

Key points

  • In 2013 there were over 250 headshops in the UK and the number is increasing
  • A quarter of young people aged 16-24 years old believe legal highs are safer than illegal drugs and 45% have been offered them
  • The consequences of taking them include brain damage and death while ONS reports 60 deaths associated with legal highs NPS last year.

Calls to action

  • For all political parties to commit to ban the import and sale of psychoactive substances in their election manifestos
  • For local Trading Standards Authorities to make full use of existing consumer protection regulations and general product safety regulations to remove unsafe products from the high street
  • Responsible marketing to be enforced to ensure legal highs do not contribute to normalising illegal and dangerous drug use
  • Increased youth awareness of the risks of legal highs
  • For consumers to actively support their local authorities by reporting suspected bad practice to Trading Standards.