A CITY shop owner has taken a legal high off his shelves after the substance hospitalised a 15-year-old Wearside girl.
As reported in the Echo, the teenager was taken ill after using Annihilation, a type of incense.
A website which claims to sell the drug say it has “explosive strength”.
Northumbria Police have since warned people, particularly youngsters, of the dangers of taking “legal highs”.
Lee Perry, who owns and runs Hippydrome, in Fawcett Street, said he believes people are using the drug in the wrong way, but has now made the decision to stop selling the product in the wake of the police warning and after the schoolgirl was admitted to hospital
Mr Perry, whose shop sells packs of Annihilation for between £10 and £24, said: “I’ve got a few packets left that I’m going to keep for some of my regulars, who I know will use it correctly, but after that I’m going to stop selling it.
“My mam has a shop over in Washington and she’s had the police in to talk to her about it and just with everything that has been going on, I don’t want my shop being associated with it anymore.”
The girl, from Washington, is now recovering at home.
In a similar incident within hours of her falling ill, a boy in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, suffered a fit and was found to have also taken the drug. The 13-year-old was hospitalised but has now been discharged and is recuperating at home.
Mr Perry, who has run Hippydrome for two years and also has a shop of the same name in The Galleries, added: “I think there are people who are mixing stuff and maybe they are using other things combined with Annihilation.
“They shouldn’t be doing that either.”
Dr Roger Ford, secretary of Sunderland Local Medical Committee, warned of the dangers of taking such products.
He said: “My advice is that no one should take any substance unless the container is clearly marked with the content and is prescribed or advised by a doctor, nurse or registered pharmacist.
“Many so-called legal high and herbal concoctions preparations are believed to contain potentially dangerous drugs or poisons.”
One shop, also in Sunderland, which did stock Annihilation says it has stopped selling the item after hearing of younger users taking the drug in the wrong way.
The shop’s owner, who didn’t want to be named, said: “It’s not meant to be smoked because it’s a herbal incense.People are using it all wrong.
“I think it’s younger ones buying it for the younger kids and that’s why things like this have happened.”