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10 Seriously Nasty Legal Highs

The UK is the legal high capital of Europe and deaths from the substances are on the rise, largely because users are unaware of dose levels. Makers are constantly tweaking compounds to stay within the law. But legal does not mean safe.

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1. Clockwork Orange.


Named after the cult 1970s Stanley Kubrick film about a gang of juvenile delinquents who rape and torture people, this synthetic cannabis product is sold online as an “enchanting and relaxing” incense in order to side-step the law. But in April it landed three Northumberland teenagers in hospital vomiting blood.

2. Fanny Powder.


An Eastern European "vaginal cleanser", Tantum Rosa is a powder snorted for its ingredient, benzydamine hydrochloride, which causes confusion and hallucinations. In Southampton in 2012 a gang of teenagers vandalized a cemetery after taking the substance, which they had bought in a nearby Polish shop.

3. AMT.


AMT (alpha-methyltryptamine) is an LSD style psychedelic stimulant, banned in the US, that smells of faeces. In August, 18-year-old Jack Hunt from Southampton became the third person from Hampshire in a year to die after taking the drug, which he had ordered over the internet from Holland.


4. Nutmeg.


It’s the secret ingredient in an authentic Bolognese pasta sauce, but an overdose of this exotic tree seed can cause bizarre behavior and full-on hallucinations. One 13-year-old who ingested 20 grams of nutmeg in three hours experienced gagging, numbness and triple vision.

5. Butane.


Last New Year’s Eve, mother Candy Ward, a heavy butane user who bought the gas on tick from her local store, died of a heart attack after inhaling two canisters at her London home. In 2009, 34 people in the UK died from inhaling butane gas from cannisters.

6. Psyclone.


Another synthetic cannabis concoction marketed as a herbal incense ‘not for human consumption’, Psyclone costs £12.99 for three grams. Last month Michael Marshall, 38, bought the drug at his local street market but died after smoking the drug in a bong while listening to football on the radio.

7. NBOMe.


A seriously potent hallucinogenic series of compounds, some versions of which have been temporarily banned in the UK, which users dilute and spray up their noses or drip onto blotters to take like LSD. Each gram contains 2,000 doses. There have been five confirmed deaths from the drug in the US and the drug is believed to be behind the death of 18-year-old Surrey teenager Charlie Barker in February.

8. Exodus Damnation.


"I remember seeing dragons and spikes," said 17-year-old Kent college student Matt Ford shortly before he had a heart attack in his bedroom on Monday (Oct 7). Ford, who doctors said was 10 minutes from death, had just smoked the synthetic cannabis drug in a bong after buying it in his local head shop.

9. Buckfast Tonic Wine.


Described by one writer as tasting of a mixture of Ribena, Benylin and Hubba Bubba, and others as ‘commotion lotion’ because of its alleged links with violence, Buckfast is a blend of 15% alcohol and large doses of caffeine, loved by the Scots and blended by monks in Dartmoor. The gravy coloured drink has been mentioned in 5,000 crime reports in the last three years.

10. Russian aftershave.


Referred to as ‘non-beverage alcohol’, there is a range of aftershaves in Russia that are produced for the dual purpose of dabbing on your chin and drinking. Responsible for thousands of deaths due to their often 97% alcohol content, bottles are designed to look like vodka and are drunk by those who cannot afford the real thing.