HE dangers of legal highs have been highlighted by Wiltshire Police in the wake of three incidents where users have acted dangerously.
The three men all took a substance nicknamed Crystal, which is likened to Crystal Meth as it cases hallucinations and euphoria.
But it also causes users to keep taking it constantly, making them stay awake for several days and leading to severe psychosis and paranoia, officers have warned.
“As with controlled substances these are unlicensed, unregulated and potentially dangerous,” said a spokesman.
“The line between Legal and Illegal is blurred with regard to these substances, but Wiltshire Police will and have taken action with regard to situations which indicate that the substances being supplied and used are in fact already controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The results of investigations by Wiltshire Police, Great Western Hospital and drug services, backed with corroboration from other forces, resulted in one substance, Methoxetamine, being banned.
Police Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “There seems to be a misguided belief that, because a substance is called legal, it must be safe. I know from the users I have talked to that these substances simply are not safe.
"We must get across the message that taking an untested substance, even though it is not presently a banned one, could cause you long-term damage or even death.”
He added that he wanted shops selling the highs to be checked and samples taken away for testing.
“In my role as PCC I sit on the health and wellbeing boards in Swindon and Wiltshire. I intend to raise this issue and to discuss what more we can do to protect people from these harmful substances.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.