Police warning about dangerous legal highs

News story
News story

POLICE are sending out an urgent warning to people about the potentially dangerous ‘legal high’ Vertex after lab tests into one product revealed they contain potentially lethal chemicals.

Intelligence suggests Vertex is being routinely sold by both retail outlets and local street dealers that are believed to be bulk purchasing from the Bolton area of Greater Manchester. Forensic tests are being undertaken and officers will be visiting known retailers and taking further actions to restrict availability.

Vertex can be bought on the internet and a copy of a similar packet is attached. It appears that Vertex is advertised as a type of incense.

lab results returned to Cheshire police indicate that the samples of Vertex sent for analysis contain harmful chemicals that pose a serious risk to health. In particular, the results have revealed a chemical called AB –CHIMINACA – a substance believed to be responsible for fatalities in Europe.

We are now extremely concerned that Vertex poses a significant risk to life and would urge anyone using, or considering using Vertex or any legal high to cease from doing so immediately. Anyone who has consumed any of these substances is urged to seek medical help immediately.

Chief Inspector Gary Simpson said: “The use of ‘legal highs’ is a worrying trend and we have been working closely with Cheshire Police to issue urgent warnings after a number of people were hospitalised in Cheshire after taking Vertex.

“This weekend thousands of people will descend upon Manchester for the Parklife Weekender festival and I want to remind people about the potentially lethal dangers of ‘legal highs’. They are a group of drugs that are not yet illegal, but just because they are legal it doesn’t mean they are safe.

“I would urge people not to buy or take this, or any other, of these so-called ‘legal highs’ and to consider the danger they pose; you could be playing Russian Roulette with your life.

“I would advise anyone supplying, using or considering using Vertex to stop immediately before it’s too late. If you have taken it, seek medical assistance now. If you are at Parklife this weekend and start to feel unwell after taking a ‘legal high’, please go to medical facility on-site immediately.”

Jon Drape Event Director of Parklife, said: “Parklife has a zero tolerance policy to both illegal drugs and ‘legal highs.” Anyone found with either on entry will be denied entry to the festival. Anyone caught taking, using, or selling illegal drugs or “legal highs” within the festival will be ejected and handed over to Greater Manchester Police.”

If people have taken this drug it is imperative that people recognise signs and symptoms and act fast. Symptoms include:

• Profuse sweating

• Racing heartbeat

• Extreme muscle tension

• Delirious ranting

• Very high body temperature

Finally remember paramedics and hospitals may struggle to help you if you have taken legal highs as what is in them isn’t always known

If any person is showing signs of these symptoms it’s essential to dial 999, put the casualty in the recovery position and ask for immediate medical assistance. For help or advice on all drugs including legal highs ‘Talk to Frank’ 0800776600 www.talktofrank.com