Paramedic warns about the dangers of legal highs - The Malvern Observer

Paramedic warns about the dangers of legal highs

Malvern Editorial 3rd Sep, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016   0

RESIDENTS have been urged not to take ‘dangerous’ legal highs after figures showed a dramatic increase in people using the substances.

The warning also comes after ambulance staff attended to a 28-year-old man in Malvern who was unconscious after smoking ‘Black Mamba’, known as ‘synthetic cannabis’, on August 4 and 8.52am.

Across the West Midlands, figures have been released to show the amount of people who have dialled 999 and mentioned ‘Black Mamba’, however staff believe this is just ‘the tip of the iceberg’.

In April there were just eight callers, which increased by one in May, but since then the numbers have risen sharply, with 20 in June, 29 in July and last month it rose to 39 calls.

An ambulance spokesman said: “In the vast majority of cases the caller does not mention the patient has taken a ‘legal high’ or gives us the name of the substance when they dial 999.

“They will say the patient has been having a seizure, convulsions, is unconscious and is only once the crew arrive they see the packet or their mates ‘fess up'”.

Pandora’s Box, Ivory Wave and Annihilation are other substances residents have been warned against.

They can cause seizures, comas, long-term illnesses and, in some cases, death.

Paramedic Jack Lewis added: “We see some very poorly people who insist on taking legal highs.

“One of the sickest patients I have been to took a legal high, they may be ‘legal’ but they are so dangerous.

“We see cases where patients have got an increased heart rate, are feeling on edge or restless, sometimes they are feeling tired or drowsy, feeling sick, having hallucinations and panic attacks as well as convulsions.

“There is also now evidence that their use may increase the risk of later developing psychotic illnesses including schizophrenia.”

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