Deadly new threat of 'legal highs'

LEGAL highs are now one of the biggest threats to Jersey’s youth after exploding onto the Island’s drug scene less than five years ago, worried experts have warned.


LEGAL highs are now one of the biggest threats to Jersey’s youth after exploding onto the Island’s drug scene less than five years ago, worried experts have warned.

Today, in the first of a five-day series on drug use in Jersey, the JEP reveals how packages of the potentially deadly substances are arriving in the Island almost every day after being bought online for less than the price of a CD.

It is thought that Jersey has seen a bigger rise in the use of so-called legal highs than elsewhere in Britain because conventional street drugs are in such short supply.

• See Monday's JEP for the full story

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Comments for: "Deadly new threat of 'legal highs'"

Geeky Blogger

Sorry, but if teenagers are stupid enough to take tablets from packets of pills clearly marked "Not for Human Consumption" then what can be done about it?

Breaking Bad

Give them the proper stuff from the Chemist, with the instructions, do and don't , helpline number and a speech from the chemist. It can't be worst than what s happening.

The system obviously don't work, that is the proof, and I am not sure if it is ridiculous or upsetting, but surely something needs to be done about it. Forbid that stuff, and tomorrow you will have a new formula with a different packaging.

Nozick-ing idea.

They are labelled in such a manner to suggest an element of 'plausible deniability' when they are marketed as such. Of course, the creators of the 'research chemicals' are well aware of the psychoactive effects. Hence the designation of these analogues as 'bath salts' or 'plant food'

These tend to be analogues of speedy type drugs and are particularly unpleasant. A sensible approach to drugs policy would likely see the market for them evaporate, but that's probably a bit too much to ask.


You are right, but there are warnings on cigarette packets and people still smoke them as well. Education like other drugs is badly needed in this area.


This old chestnut, again.

Bottom line: people are *always* going to take drugs. You can’t legislate removal of the desire. In other countries where you can receive the death sentence for possession, people still import and consume drugs. The government needs to learn and accept this – the war on drugs is lost and it’s now just a waste of the taxpayer’s money continuing with it.

If you decriminalise certain drugs, you get to have a say in the quality and remove the revenue stream from the criminals as well as potentially earning tax from it.

Currently illegal drugs kill far, far fewer people than alcohol and cigarettes, and that’s with the questionable quality due to them being bought on the black market.

People *are* always going to find a way of getting high – if the only way of doing it without risking arrest is through the arms race of legal highs (where a drugs producer will change the active molecule just enough to be still effective, yet legally be a different substance in the eye of the law) then that is what people will do. Yes it’s probably untested, but again that’s because it’s being produced in an uncontrolled environment.

And please, can we stop all this ‘when I was a lad everything was rosy’ or ‘why don’t they just read a book and eat vegetables to get a sense of well-being’ rubbish – it shows a total lack of any appreciation of reality. You’re never going to live in this utopia you desire – the sooner you accept that, the sooner we can move on with finding a healthy compromise.

All we need now are some politicians with the testicular fortitude to actually make some sensible suggestions of how we can move from this stagnation.

the thin wallet

these legal highs are dangerous .

at least you know where you are with a bit of pot or mdma even opiates .

some states in america have changed laws as they can no longer afford the cost of catching a bunch of stoners . a goverment shop selling clean drugs and advice for those who over indulge , you would have to sign for them.

and raise some tax from the sale .


I really can't understand why still tobacco be legal as this is the most addictive "legal" drugs around.

Why you think is so difficult to quit tobacco?

What is the percentage of mortality?

At the end who cares. But cannabis could also be legal, and pay taxes too.


are they better off legalising canabis plant only. its a good start. not resin or any other form

Breaking Bad

When you say resin, you mean the expensive crap cut with shoe polish, plastic and tarmac at the usual ridiculous Jersey prices which come from Afghanistan and sponsor some kind of extremists.

Yes hippies are indirectly financing extremist, unbelievable isn't it !


yes that stuff

Breaking Bad

If you want to have fun without breaking the bank or being considered as a criminal, those are the kind of stuff that the teens have to turn to.

High as A Kite

if you look carefully at the packets featured in the photograph it clearly states "not for human consumption" together with other danger warnings. If Jersey's youth are stupid enough to put the contents of these packets into their bodies then that really says a lot more about their total stupidity and ignorance rather then the fact that you can purchase these packets which are obviously intended for a completely different use altogether!

Miss Piggy

Of course i bet you don't even drink Alcohol do you?

High as A Kite

well done Miss Piggy you are quite correct I don't!

Miss Piggy

I didn't think so High As A Kite, so it makes it ok for you to moralise against others doesn't it? What business is it of yours if others like a drink, spliff or anything else??

I bet anything that the Doctor prescribes you is ok though isn't it, even though there are 1000's of deaths from prescription medication in the UK every year!

A recent report i saw stated that the majority of GP's don't really have a clue what they're prescribing or the potential side effects in a lot of cases!

High As A Kite

My Dear Miss Piggy, yes it is OK for me to moralise against others, its called freedom of speach and we have had it in this Island ever since May 1945!

Miss Piggy

As far as i am aware High as A Kite the Nazi agenda was total control. Your moralizing seeks control over others who are different to you. What is the difference?

High As A Kite

My Dear Miss Piggy, I was talking about freedom of speach and you seem to have gone off on one about the "Nazi's and total control".

I think that if you were the only person in a room you could still have an arguement with yourself.

Cherry bye my lovely!

Miss Piggy

"Deadly new threat of ‘legal highs’" So people have been taking these things for 5 years now and one unfortunate death has been attributed to "Benzo Fury" (seemingly the only death worldwide).

I would like to know how many deaths there have been in Jersey in that time due to Alcohol, Tobacco and Prescription Drugs? Going by UK statistics, one would imagine quite a few!


It states not for human consumption to cover their own a***s, nothing to do with the end user. If they really wanted people not to take it, they would have no business. They know exactly what people are planning to do with it - that's what they made it for!


High as A Kite:

A program on National TV went to GSY to interview some teens about legal high.

Those kids were doing a delivery service door to door.

Do you really think they were promoting a "bath salt" delivery service.

The stupidity is that we all know what it is for, which drugs they are trying to re create. Stupidity is the system we are in and the ignorance coming from the government who is powerless (or not interested) to solve a problem which was created by themselves. Most drugs originally came from American Scientists working for the Army. They tried to create drugs to make the soldiers fearless or to make prisoners speak out by injecting them with all sorts of chemicals.

Blame the end users!?


Never mind what it says on the packet. Jersey's kids, and the manufacturers of these products, are clearly smarter than some of the people round here.

Cigarettes tell you they will kill you, all alcohol comes with a guide for safe drinking. Both those warning are routinely ignored. These legal highs come with a get out clause, not a warning. If you actually believe they're not for consumption, then you're the naive, ignorant ones.

Let the kids do what they want to do. Kids in Jersey have been doing stuff like this for 40 years - everyone's turned out ok. So don't panic - just get on with your own lives.

Some kids might die - not likely though. They're almost definitely going to die from the cigarettes they're smoking. They're certainly no where near as likely to die as all the kids who are on heroin. And it's heroin that should be should be making the headlines - not this stuff. Why is no one talking about the 1000+ heroin users in Jersey? Too heavy to discuss? Better to stop the good kids doing herbals than waste time on the bad kids doing heroin? Jersey needs to get it's priorities re-arranged.

Miss Piggy

Very well said Ashley. Puts things into perspective nicely!


What a shame Jersey hasn't adapted the Amsterdam approach and opened a coffee shop to become a "real" tourist destination again putting Jersey firmly back on the map and bringing the island into the 21st Century.

Attracting people from literally all over the world - far and away it would have brought more money than you could imagine for schools, hospitals, education and policing. Jobs for all too!

Instead, it festers in a state of decay, a sea of casiNO loving grandmas going nowhere. A run down dump with nothing to do. Is it any wonder kids are turning to this lab work stuff?

Whats your next move? Keep fighting - or agree on some common ground.........


How many people have ended up in hospital due to getting"stoned"?How many people have been arrested for fighting when"stoned"?The problem is no shops are open when you've got the munchies/thirst on!!!!!!!It's when you mix these herbal highs with other herbal highs the problems COULD start.If you mix them with booze,then your asking for trouble,& sometimes it leads to fatalities,but very rare.Personally I've never had them,nor would I,but if these packets say "not fit for human consumption"on them,then what's wrong with the people taking them,can't they read?Can't they understand what"not fit for human consumption"means!!!!!!!!


The Netherlands are looking at making this lifestyle only available to those that live locally now. They have not found drug tourism to be beneficial overall. The problems seem to have outweighed the financial benefits.


Wrong Si, the majority of the Netherlands are not adopting the "Weed Pass". It has only been implemented in certain southern towns close to the borders, under pressure from other countries to try and stop people driving into Holland, picking up their weed and driving straight back to Germany, Belgium and France with it.

Amsterdam and other major cities have decided not to adopt it, they are quite happy with the current situation, the Coffee Shop system works well for them and they make a lot of money from Cannabis tourism.

Interestingly, the districts that implemented the Weed Pass have seen a sharp rise in street dealing and other crime! WHAT A SURPRISE!!


if you take that stuff then you deserve what happens. no sympathy here


Completely agree with you. But then it should be my choice what I take. Not the opinion of some politician who has zero experience with what he is banning. Would you take driving lessons from someone who can't drive?



Oh dear

Firstly, these "kids" are most probably 15 years old plus, they have all been educated well enough to know what's right and wrong, They get taught about drugs today at school which is usually in P.S.H.E. parents continuously tell them about drugs and how they shouldn't do it. If they have decided to choose to search on the internet for these legal highs and take them, then that's their own idiotic choice.

Secondly, if the government actually looked at the stats of people dieing per year for illegal drugs and compared it to alcohol and tobacco, it will demonstrate that people are dieing more from diseases caused by tobacco and alcohol. However you don't see those two legal drugs being illegal.

The government need to sort it out. People wouldn't have to turn to legal highs if certain things weren't against the Law, it's the only thing which they can clamp down and control the most as its so easy for them.


there are people in jersey making obcene amounts of money tax free from it.that cant be right


Scrap current legislation, legalise Cannabis, tax & regulate it and people will stop taking these unsafe alternatives. Blame the government and our gutless politicians.


Ithink its the police who want it banned they control politicians we need to get a petition going

Breaking Bad

Police!! A mate of mine was married to one of them.

If you were to do a drug test tomorrow, you might make Luis Amstrong look like a amateur . lol

Major Problem

I read an interesting study a year or two ago about media reporting of Alcohol and Drug deaths in the UK.

It was very interesting to find out that EVERY death from Ecstasy and Legal Highs (even though there are very few) was widely reported in the media, other drugs where death rates were higher (Cocaine and Heroin for example) were reported on much less frequently, whereas for Alcohol no deaths were reported in the media!

This sort of selective reporting gives the impression of the dangers from certain drugs being much higher than they actually are.

The biggest danger for youngsters in Jersey is indeed a Legal High...Alcohol!


Amen, someone who has their head switched on, agreed!! ...I'd personally like to see Cannabis legalised. Alcohol related deaths would fall, and no reason to take potentially fatal fabricated alternatives. It can be taxed, regulated, heck it can even provide us with a viable paper industry, fuel, fabrics, the list goes on... Saving the planet would be residual lol... it's a no-brainer.


Except it's NOT legal for youngsters!

Youngsters are always going to feel put upon and like adults are trying to spoil their fun.

But we cannot change the fact that alcohol and drugs have a different effect on the developing brain than on the developed brain. That's just life. Until kids can realise that it is up to the grown-ups to protect them from their ignorance. I don't think Governments, or even parents, go about it the right way. But maybe we should be looking at changing our approach rather than straight out legalisation?


Fact; people in Jersey and the rest of the world for that matter will always try and find a way to 'get high' or whatever. Alcohol and tobacco kill more people than any other 'drug' in the world yet we can't make that illegal?? It's backwards, though I agree on heavy drugs being illegal, there are some out there which can have benefits such as marijuana, California for instance proscribe this for all sorts of medical reasons. Who ever heard of tobacco or alcohol doing such things?? Also Jersey is always moaning about binge drinking and how it needs to stop.

Bring in the Weed and you will see a heavy decline in this!! Plus tax advantages for the greedy politicians! People would be happy to pay for things that make them happy!! Those of you whom have never tried marijuana please don't comment because you have no idea!!


To me it's shameful the complete lack of humanity from some posters on this forum. Someone has lost a son and a little boy a father, to imply that a mistake a person makes relating by taking a drug that they deserve death is disgusting.

Major Problem

I'm sure a lot of those people know at least one person who has died from Alcohol & Tobacco related diseases...but they're different because people find it hard to see Alcohol & Tobacco as "drugs"

the thin wallet

hear hear.

I blame the immigrants

We never had headlines like this before Johnny Foreigner came to grace out shores. Since then of course, the quality of life is considerably lower than it used to be; thanks to the overcrowding, we now have tens of thousands of people stuck in little bedsits with no chance of getting onto the property ladder - is it any wonder they want to escape their mundane existence? Substance abuse is just one of the many social issues that comes with overpopulation, so we reap what we sow.

the thin wallet


there have been quite a few locals who have had taste of her majesties pleasure for the odd 9 bar and tablets.

the want to take drugs crosses all nations .

Breaking Bad

Suicidal rate on the Island is higher than normal.70 000 anti depressor prescriptions were made last year. Mix that with booze and bingo ! Best to feed them chemical stuff than a natural plant that you could put in you tea or mix with your ginger biscuits !


Extreme right is at it again. There is drug problems all around the world !!! What s overpopulation got to do with it ?

Actually, you are right ! There is no such problem in Alaska, the North and South Pole. You should go there an stay there !


One of the positive points often mentioned by those in favour of drug decriminalisation, is that the substances would be produced by pharmaceutical companies and thus taken away from the dealers. Now, thanks to these legal highs, people who would ordinarily be taking cannabis or ecstasy or cocaine, now have the option to buy a "legal" variant instead - with zero profits going to drug dealers, and the users avoiding a permanent criminal record for what is often just a little weekend escapism.

Yet the backward-thinking Jersey authorities, under the advice of our Health Minister, thought it would be a good idea to put a stop to this, glibly slapping a ban on all legal highs, and thus forcing users to go back to their dealers (or back to the bottle).

Perhaps it was assumed that once the substances were made illegal, the users would just sit at home doing crochet instead?? Bravo, excellent move.

Major Problem

One huge problem i see with Jersey policy is that the Health Minister & Medical Officer of Health seem to have the final word as to whether a substance is made illegal!

What business is it of theirs criminalising our young people?

It was a silly panicked reaction to ban "Benzo Fury" when there are a lot more dangerous legal highs out there!

The Jersey death seems to be the only one reported worldwide even though "Benzo Fury" seems to be very popular.

There was another death in Scotland blamed on the substance last year, but it has just been reported that the cause of death was actually "Ecstasy" not "Benzo Fury".

Breaking Bad

Specially when those drug dealers will try to sell you something else. When those same drug dealers could also be dealing weapons and involved in human trafficking.

the thin wallet

also the farmers who grow the raw substances may get a better life or a improved income .

not much else grows where they live .

The Whisperer

Legal Highs

Anything that has been played around with in a lab normally isn't going to help you much when its untested. These people who make these "legal highs" do purely for profit. They can be dangerous but also can be great fun, but they will never ever beat a natural source such as cannabis.

I was always told at school that all drugs are bad until I got told about the cannabis plant/hemp, I got told to watch a documentary

Watch this documentary it is full of facts not just about cannabis but about hemp and its uses and other drugs. I strongly believe that we as a island should look into the way cannabis is controlled.

Remember the goverments use to give heroin for the coughs.


I don't think education is ever going to stop young people wanting to try drugs, although hopefully it will get through to some of them to be sensible when they do take them. When at school I think we had one visit from the drug squad, and they basically just tried to scare us. But we still went out and tried drugs, although I do believe that the drugs were a lot more pure then, and we all seemed to have an inbuilt ability to do them in the right environment and look out for each other, and we are all still here today.

Now as an adult I've seen grandmothers eating space cakes, and highly intelligent educated people smoking joints, so drug taking is never going to stop. Because these people are intelligent, run businesses, have made a good life for themselves, so what harm is soft drug taking doing? If they made the soft drugs legal, taxed and quality controlled, it's got to help to get rid of this crap that youngsters are turning to. And these youngsters are getting far more drug education at school and they still take them, it's just human nature to want to try things especially for teenagers.


Today YouTube video tutorials quality is more superior and superior, so that