Region-wide legal highs warning following incidents in Chesterfield and Derby

Legal highs.
Legal highs.

Police are warning people about the dangers of taking legal highs after the discovery of a substance in Chesterfield that is connected to deaths in Europe.

Officers were called out to a house in the city on April 28 to reports that a man had collapsed after taking the substance.

Police seized a drug with tests showing it to be MDMB-CHMICA, which is reported to be involved in the deaths of two people and the hospitalisation of three other people in Germany between September 2014 and January 2015.

The substance was also found after police were called to an incident in Derby city centre on March 26.

The potentially deadly substance is described as a synthetic cannabinoid, which is smoked and users hope will have similar effects to cannabis itself.

Steve Holme, central drug reception manager for the force, said: “Synthetic cannabinoids are sold under a variety of different brand names, however the contents of each brand regularly changes and just because a user has not had any adverse reaction to a particular brand once, doesn’t mean that it won’t happen next time.

“Put simply, you cannot rely on the labelling on packets, or on the brand name if you choose to use one of these substances.

“The brand name “Black Mamba” is particularly confusing. The original contents of this brand were made a controlled drug by the Government in 2012 but not all items sold as “Black Mamba”, or any other brand name, will contain the same substances.

“Police advice to users is that when you buy any of these products you are taking a gamble with your health. You can never know exactly what is in them and you do not know whether the contents are safe to take.”

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