‘Hundreds of ‘legal highs’ face ban’

Recently I read an article in The Guardian by Alan Travis titled ‘Hundreds of ‘legal highs’ face ban- but not laughing gas’. Travis gives an insight into the harm that legal highs are doing to younger generations with symptoms such as “unconsciousness, numbness in legs causing collapse, paranoia, aggression and self harm” all being related to ‘legal highs’.

While I agree that teenagers should perhaps be discouraged from inducing substances such as ‘herbal incense’, the term ‘nanny state’ springs to mind when there is talk of them being banned altogether.

Surely if a young person is old enough to go to a music festival, out clubbing or on holiday abroad (situations where these ‘drugs’can often be associated with) they are old enough to make their own decision as to whether they want to experience these substances or not.

I feel that part of growing up is deciding for yourself the difference between right and wrong. If a youngster decides that they want to try a material which alters their behaviour and thoughts for a period of time, they are likely to get their hands on it- whether it is legal in the UK or not.

Alcohol has been related with the same effects on young people as ‘legal highs’ have. However, in comparison to the consumption of these substances, there is a far higher percentage of instances where adolescents have been badly affected or worse, ended up in hospital due to misuse of alcohol, which is entirely legal.

Next week, the government’s chief drugs adviser, Les Iversen, and his colleagues will advise on which legal highs they think should be banned in the UK. Maybe they should consider allowing teenagers to have the freedom to make their own decisions.

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