On 8th May 2012 HIT held a Legal Highs seminar in Warrington. The speakers for this were Dr. Russell Newcombe and Dr. Harry Sumnall. Both Russell and Harry spoke about how unhelpful news reporting has been around legal highs, with news headlines like “Man rips off own scrotum”, they also both worked to put the current views of legal highs into some historical context.
Russell had brought along his extensive collection of legal highs packaging (see photos below) including a very rare packet of the heroin laced cigarettes that were prescribed in the Wirral in the late 1980s.
Harry’s presentation ended with him strongly encouraging people to not get caught up in trying to identify each legal high by name, many of these drugs are being referred to by a small number of interchangeable names (lots of different drugs called ‘Bubble’ for instance), instead we should be identifying the ‘suite’ of effects caused by the drug and working with that.