Call for legal high to be 'reclassified'
Psychiatrists have called for the drug 4-MMC, a so-called 'legal high' to be made illegal.
The stimulant, which was banned in 2008 in Denmark, Finland and Israel, can cause hallucinations and psychosis.
Psychiatrists at yesterday's Annual Meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Faculty of Addictions in Edinburgh presented research showing that the drug has similar effects to ecstasy and cocaine.
They highlighted the case of a young professional man, who had been buying 4-MMC online for 18 months and binging on the drug twice a week. He had experienced auditory and visual hallucinations, as well as agitation, excitability and signs of mania. He had also become dependent on the drug, and was admitted to a psychiatric in-patient unit for treatment. Deaths have been reported in other countries.
Psychiatrists Dr Neeraj Bajaj, Dr Donna Mullen and Dr Scott Wylie, from Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow said: 'There are hundreds of websites, based in the UK and abroad, that are selling these so-called legal highs. It is a poorly regulated industry with consumers having little knowledge of ingredients or their effects.
'4-MMC has the potential to cause similar physical and psychiatric complications to illegal drugs. We therefore think there is an urgent need for government legislation to reclassify 4-MMC as an illegal substance.'
Page created on May 1st, 2009
Page updated on January 16th, 2010