A DRUGS advisory body has called for the banning of an “explosive” legal high that hospitalised a Washington teenager.
The 15-year-old schoolgirl from Glebe needed hospital treatment in August after taking a product called Annihilation or Annihilator – a form of incense.
It followed a similar incident when a boy, who suffered a fit, was found to have also taken the drugs in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside.
Now the Government’s drug advisers have called for the synthetic form of cannabis to be banned.
Professor Les Iversen, of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said Annihilation, which has left nine people needing hospital treatment, was “particularly potent”.
A formal recommendation to ban the substance throughout the UK will go to Home Secretary Theresa May next week.
Annihilation is currently legal and can be bought online for around £10 a gram, with the warning that it is not for human consumption.
Prof Iversen, who is the chief drugs adviser, said some Annihilation users become “severely agitated” and “over stimulated”.
He said hundreds of different chemical compounds similar to Annihilation would be covered by any legal ban.
Northumbria Police has warned of the dangers of taking “legal highs” after the Washington pupil was left needing medical treatment.
Acting Chief Inspector Kevin Waring, of Sunderland Area Command, said: “We are working closely with Trading Standards to identify and visit premises selling these substances and will take any action necessary to ensure the safety of the public.
“In both these cases, the substance taken appears to have been called Annihilation, Annihilator or some variation on that name.
“It may be being sold as a herbal incense and must not be consumed.”
According to one website, Annihilation is a “new incense with an EXPLOSIVE strength!
“From the Mary Joy family, this new head-blowing herbal incense Annihilation has arrived with a BOOM!”
Detective Chief Inspector Ged Noble added: “We want people to be aware of the dangers of taking drugs, including so called ‘legal highs’ and medication not prescribed for them.
“I would like to stress that the use of legal high drugs is not safe and can kill or have a devastating impact on people’s health.
“These substances often contain potentially dangerous chemicals and can cause death.
“Likewise, any concoction of medication is potentially extremely dangerous and it’s equally dangerous for people to take medication which has not been prescribed to them.
“Anyone who misuses drugs, prescribed or non-prescribed, is putting their life at risk and people should also be aware that this risk is significantly increased if mixed with alcohol.”
People who need advice on drugs can contact the Frank service on 08700 77 6600 or go to www.talktofrank.com.