West Yorkshire Police are warning of the dangers of two drugs previously known as legal highs but now set to be banned.
The Government has announced it has accepted advice to control a number of substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Although the actual date when these substances will be made illegal is not yet known, they are recommending that New Synthetic Cannabinoids - such as those sold under the name of Black Mamba and Methoxetamine, also sold as Mexxy, should become Class B drugs.
Black Mamba is a smoking substance which contains Synthetic Cannabinoid - the chemical which mimics THC present in cannabis. A temporary ban on Methoxetamine has been in place since earlier this year.
Bryan Dent, West Yorkshire Police’s drugs co-ordinator, said: “With today’s announcement, the Government accepts the facts that these type of substances, known collectively as new psychoactive substances, are harmful to people.
“When people, often young and vulnerable, take these substances they are taking serious risks with their lives.
“Often no one is really sure what is contained in those substances and equally important what the effects including long term effects the substances will have.
“What is of a concern is in recent months we have had a number of occasions where young people have been hospitalised after smoking Black Mamba and we know Methoxetamine can makes people aggressive and violent and alters their mental state.
“Although the announcement today is welcomed, it does raise the whole issue of new psychoactive substances - what people often refer to as ‘legal highs’.
“It is a problem for police and our partners in health and drug treatment agencies and many other aspects of the community.
“A number of people are happy to sell these type of substances to anyone, including young school children. We have direct evidence that young people are buying these substances, consuming the products and making themselves really ill.
“This has an impact on public services, including the police often initially attending the incident of a young person acting in a strange manner or aggressively or where they have just collapsed, it impacts on the ambulance service attending, which then often impacts on the A and E department and thereafter on drug treatment agencies, not to mention, schools, work environment and of course the persons family.
“Shops who continue selling these type of substances after they become illegal or should people be found in possession of these type of drugs they will be prosecuted.
“We hope that the Government announcement today and my message will help to protect individuals from harm caused by these drugs and make West Yorkshire a safer community to be in.”