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Medics struggling to deal with effects of legal highs.

Ambulance services are playing catch up as they deal with a rise in the number of people falling ill from legal highs. This is because they often have no idea what is in the drugs, a senior paramedic has warned.

Sarah Harrison from the UK's North West Ambulance Service said staff were struggling to develop effective treatments because of the complex make-up of the substances and the fact that their labelling does not always accurately describe what is inside them.

"We have no drugs that counteract the effects of the substances that people are taking - that's what's causing a lot of the problems," Ms Harrison said.

"A lot of the time we are not aware what substance they have taken and what combination, or even what the substance is because they come with different names and different street names."

Ms Harrison added that she didn't think that the use of legal highs would ever be adequately controlled because the ingredients used are changing all the time.

She added: "I think the main message is to not take the substances in the first place."

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 22, 2016
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