It seems that every few months we read about a new "legal" high that is causing its users to suffer. They are touted as safe alternative to already existing illegal drugs. The truth is that these substances are dangerous, untested and certainly not safe.Most people would agree with the statement that simply because a substance is not illegal doesn’t mean it is not dangerous. For instance alcohol, when consumed in moderation, can be a nice way to relax and socialise with friends and family. However when alcohol is abused, either by the practise of binge-drinking or long term heavy use, most agree that the consequences are destructive and dangerous to one’s health. Alcohol’s interaction with the body has been well studied and the dangers are well documented. The same cannot be said about “legal” highs that some people abuse on a night out.
Every few months it seems a new “legal” drug grows in popularity and begins to gain attention in the media. Once attention becomes focused on this drug many of the dangers and horror stories associated with its use begin to emerge. Eventually the anecdotal evidence allies itself with actual scientific research displaying the dangers of the “legal” drug’s use and the government correctly reclassifies the drug as illegal for personal consumption. Over time a new “legal” drug becomes popular the process described above repeats itself.
Unfortunately during this process a number of people end up suffering terrible physical problems or in some awful cases even dying from abuse of this unregulated drug. The newest example of a popular “legal” high comes in the form of Methoxetamine, or “mexxy”. Almost identical in structure to ketamine, another popular club drug, Methoxetamine is available to purchase over the internet. The suppliers of this drug have found a legal loophole whereby they only need to warn the buyer that the substance is not for human consumption in order to distribute it. Somewhat ironically, the suppliers are offering great advice in this disclaimer, yet sadly it is ignored by the user. The effects of Methoxetamine are similar to Ketamine in almost every way, except that it is marketed as a safer alternative. This is a dangerous example of false advertising.
Ketamine, which Methoxetamine is closely linked, is illegal to use in the UK except by trained doctors and veterinarians (who can use it as an anaesthetic in certain situations). What is worse about Methoxetamine is that it has not been studied fully. In essence, its users are turning themselves into human guinea pigs; only without the correct clinical supervision.
There have already been documented cases of people admitted to hospital for a range of symptoms associated with Methoxetamine abuse. Ketamine use can lead to serious health problems. These include severe cramps and damage to the bladder. In extreme cases people have had to be fitted with urinary catheters due to the damage caused by Ketamine. Methoxetamine is so similar in structure to Ketamine that experts expect the potential physical damage to be the same. Methoxetaime is clearly not a safer alternative.
In a few words, abusing drugs such as Methoxetamine is incredibly dangerous behaviour. Certain drugs are illegal or only available via prescription for important reasons. Even the fact that these drugs are referred to as “legal” highs is incredibly misleading. They are only legal due to the fact that a loophole exists which allows them to be sold. Word must be spread that drugs such as Methoxetamine are unsafe and should not be taken unless a physician prescribes its use. This goes for any and all “legal” highs which can be purchased via the internet.