A police chief has expressed concerns about so-called ‘legal highs’ being taken by young people in Chesterfield.
Steven Ball, section inspector for the town, said: “There is a problem with legal highs in Chesterfield.
“We have had a rise in the number of people who have suffered ill effects after taking them. Only this month we had two people in the town centre who were taken unwell during the day.
“It tied up some police officers, and members of the ambulance service to treat them. It’s not an easy issue to deal with.”
Street Pastors in Chesterfield, who operate a youth club in an effort to get young people off the streets, have also expressed concerns about the number of young people taking legal highs.
Group members who operate out of Grace Chapel said they regularly see teenagers under the influence of substances at the club and have seen first-hand the effects they can have.
John Bowne, a retired police superintendent who helps run the youth club, has seen people on the floor incapable of moving but still conscious.
“The most extreme case we’ve seen was where we walked up to a group and it was obvious they were smoking,” he said. “Then one of the group suddenly said he felt faint and collapsed on the pavement.”
According to Mr Bowne the most popular product used is called Clockwork Orange.
It costs £10 a gramme and is described on the packaging as ‘herbal incense’.
It promises a high that lasts an hour when smoked with tobacco. But on the packaging is fine print that says the substance is a ‘research chemical’ that should not be inhaled.