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Force's week of action to tackle 'legal-high' products

Dorset Police has staged a week of action to tackle the issue of so-called ‘legal highs’.

Officers have been targeting suspected suppliers of substances sold as ‘legal highs’ and last week – 25 November 2013 to 1 December 2013 – visited four addresses in the county. Further visits will be carried out this week.

They also sent letters to four people living in Dorset who are believed to have bought ‘legal highs’ over the internet.

The activity was aimed at stemming the supply of these products and raising awareness of the potential dangers of new psychoactive substances.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Callaghan said: “Just because a substance is sold in a shop or on the internet as 'legal' does not mean it is legal or safe, and sadly there are clever people out there making a lot of money by selling drugs under the misnomer ‘legal highs’ which may in fact pose a risk to people's health. 

“The reality is that many of these products either contain controlled substances which are illegal or uncontrolled substances whose side-effects cannot be predicted.

“People selling these products are profiting on a significant scale and this campaign is about sending a clear message throughout the county as to the potential health risks from products labelled ‘legal highs’. 

“It is also about educating people about the consequences of using these products.

Anyone who buys such substances is playing roulette with their health and their futures. Possession of a controlled drug can lead to a criminal record which could damage job prospects and future travel plans.”

Dr William Haydock, Dorset’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team Information and Research Officer, said: “There are a wide range of services to help Dorset residents who have drug and alcohol problems.

“Support ranges from advice and information through to structured treatment and aftercare, and includes access to support groups of people with similar experiences.

“Services offering information and support for those affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use are also available.”

For more information, visit www.dorsetforyou.com/drugsandalcohol.

ISSUED: 5 December 2013