Spen school’s Black Mamba scare

LEGAL HIGH?: The Black Mamba spice.
LEGAL HIGH?: The Black Mamba spice.

FOUR school children from Cleckheaton were taken to hospital after smoking a legal-high called Black Mamba.

One was sick and close to losing consciousness after smoking the herbal spice, and all four were taken to Dewsbury and District Hospital where they were checked by doctors before being released.

Police are now warning young people to stay away from ‘legal highs’, which can have toxic effects when ingested or smoked.

Bryan Dent, drugs co-ordinator for West Yorkshire Police, said: “These substances by being commonly referred to as ‘legal highs’ give a completely false context to the issue; they should be best described as ‘toxic substances‘ because that’s what they are.

“Although not covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act and on the face of it legal - they are not safe and are often very toxic.”

Black Mamba is a herbal spice that mimics the effect of cannabis when smoked. It can be bought over the internet legally and is often marketed as a fragrance or aromatherapy incense.

Mr Dent added: “It’s our experience that many of the substances do actually contain ingredients which are illegal, so instead of buying what people think are legal substances they are in fact buying illegal substances.

“Taking this toxic substance could have ended in tragedy for the individuals and their families.

“There is much concern nationally that the term ‘legal highs‘ is misleading, lack of research into many of the products means that there are many questions raised about what the long term health effects are of consuming white powders and herbal mixtures which have been treated with synthetic ingredients.

“We have to keep getting the message out, especially to young people, that when you ingest materials to alter your state of mind, there will always be risks attached to that activity.

“There are often serious health risks and the risk of getting arrested.”