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Legal highs covered by UK ban

Press AssociationPress Association 23/05/2016

SOME LEGAL HIGHS NOW BANNED IN THE UK:

* Spice - Among the most popular psychoactive substances available on the market, replicate doping effect of cannabis. Spice gained notoriety following reports of widespread use in prisons. comes as a smoking mix and has been known to cause paranoia and hallucinations

* Laughing gas - Also known as nitrous oxide or "nos" and dubbed "hippy crack" by the press, comes in canisters and used recreationally after being inhaled, often out of balloons. Gives users light-headed, euphoric feeling that lasts for several seconds but deprives the body of oxygen, so can be fatal when taken in excess

* Salvia - Unlike other synthetic legal highs, salvia comes from a plant. Still sold in many so-called headshops in UK, but only on proviso it is not marketed for human consumption. When smoked or chewed, creates a hallucinogenic experience, carrying risk of triggering psychotic episode in someone with existing or latent mental health issues

* Mephedrone - Also known as "mcat" and "meow meow", shot into public spotlight in 2010 following string of deaths. Mimics effects of amphetamines such as speed and MDMA, providing similar feelings of elation, but with potentially deadly impact on the heart and central nervous system

* Benzofuran - Has become known as benzo fury and subject of recent clampdown in UK. Widely sold as tablets and purported to be legal alternative to ecstasy, establishing foothold in underground rave scene. Side-effects include anxiety, aggression and sometimes psychosis. Became a class B drug in 2014, linked with several deaths in UK

* Annihilation - Synthetic cannabinoid similar to spice and black mamba - made to act like active chemical in cannabis. Several people have collapsed after taking it. Symptoms include profuse sweating, a racing heartbeat and delirious ranting.

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