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Legal drug risk questioned

Campaigners have put increasing pressure on the government to ban legal highs following the deaths of two teenagers earlier this week (March 15th).

Louis Wainwright, 18, and Nicholas Smith, 19, died in Scunthorpe after taking the substance mephedrone.

The family of Nicholas Smith have since called for the drug to be made illegal as they believe that this could help prevent future deaths from its misuse.

However, Martin Barnes, chief executive of drug information centre DrugScope, has suggested that a wider availability of information about drugs would be beneficial.

"The priority should be an effective public health response, with accurate and accessible education and information," said Mr Barnes.

He added: "The main issue with mephedrone is that despite the concern about its harms and risks, it is legal to market, sell and distribute. Banning the drug would address its open and blatant sale but the likelihood is that an illegal market will be created."

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