AMT is set to be banned in a victory for the Daily Echo's campaign to ban the dangerous substances

Daily Echo: Adam Hunt, pictured, died aged 18 last year after taking hallucinogen AMT Adam Hunt, pictured, died aged 18 last year after taking hallucinogen AMT

A DEADLY “legal high” blamed for the death of a Southampton teenager is poised to be banned.

Drugs experts rule that the notorious substance AMT is so dangerous it should be upgraded to the same category as cocaine and heroin.

It marks a victory for the Daily Echo’s Say No to Legal Highs campaign demanding tougher laws and licensing rules on the lethal drugs, which have claimed the lives of several young people in Hampshire.

We launched our campaign after Adam Hunt, 18, died in after taking he took AMT – a powerful hallucinogen which acts in the same way as LSD A post-mortem revealed the Saints fan died of multiple organ failure after taking a dose of almost one gram bought on the Internet.

Now experts at the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) have ruled the substance should be reclassified as a Class A drug.

Home Office minister Norman Baker has voiced his concern that AMT is still legally available, paving the way for a ban later this year.

He said: “The Government is determined to clamp down on so-called ‘legal highs’, which is why I commissioned a review to see how best we can combat this dangerous trade.”

Trainee doctor Doug Ferguson, 19, from Chandler’s Ford, died after taking the drug in June 2012 after being taken ill at a house in Heathfield Road.

Married father William Nutter, 32, from Andover, died after consuming AMT the following month.

The ACMD has also recommended action to outlaw several “highly potent” legal highs readily available to buy in the county’s shops, as well as online.

They include 5–MeO–DALT, known as “Rockstar” or “Green–Beans”.

Some of these tryptamines are already covered, but the council wants the description of the family to be expanded to ensure newly created substances are banned.

Professor Les Iversen, the ACMD’s chairman, said: “People should be under no illusion, these substances marketed as ‘legal highs’ can cause serious damage to your health and in some cases, even death.

“The UK is leading the way by using generic definitions to ban groups of similar compounds to ensure we keep pace with the fast moving marketplace for these drugs.”

That message was echoed by Mr Baker, who said: “Despite being marketed as legal alternatives to banned drugs, users cannot be sure what so-called ‘legal highs’ contain and the impact they will have on their health.”

The Home Office said Mr Baker would consider the recommendation, but the likelihood is that a ban will be introduced within weeks or months.

The number of deaths in Britain associated with to legal highs rose from ten in 2009 to 68 in 2012, the latest figures show.

The Daily Echo is calling for tougher laws, vendors and sellers to be held to account and tighter controls to stop vulnerable youngsters from being able to buy the products over the counter.

Comments (15)

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5:43am Fri 13 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

Why do young people with everything to live for, and the brains to say "no" insist on shovelling this filth down themselves? Doesn't bode well for our future.
Why do young people with everything to live for, and the brains to say "no" insist on shovelling this filth down themselves? Doesn't bode well for our future. Dai Rear
  • Score: 1

5:57am Fri 13 Jun 14

Abkhazsoyuz says...

Any drug related death is a tragedy, but making these substances illegal doesn't reduce harm or reduce availability. It's time for David Cameron to set up a Royal Commission to investigate drugs policy before the situation gets worse.
Even before AMT eventually gets banned later this year, a new chemical ,similar, will crop up, even more untested and unknown, ( AMT was developed as an antidepressant in the 60's, and went through all normal clinical tests, as any drug would )... when users only use these obscure "legal highs" in the first place because they don't have reliable access to better researched drugs (such as MDMA and LSD, which have established safety profiles ).
Any drug related death is a tragedy, but making these substances illegal doesn't reduce harm or reduce availability. It's time for David Cameron to set up a Royal Commission to investigate drugs policy before the situation gets worse. Even before AMT eventually gets banned later this year, a new chemical ,similar, will crop up, even more untested and unknown, ( AMT was developed as an antidepressant in the 60's, and went through all normal clinical tests, as any drug would )... when users only use these obscure "legal highs" in the first place because they don't have reliable access to better researched drugs (such as MDMA and LSD, which have established safety profiles ). Abkhazsoyuz
  • Score: 2

7:40am Fri 13 Jun 14

userds5050 says...

Abkhazsoyuz wrote:
Any drug related death is a tragedy, but making these substances illegal doesn't reduce harm or reduce availability. It's time for David Cameron to set up a Royal Commission to investigate drugs policy before the situation gets worse.
Even before AMT eventually gets banned later this year, a new chemical ,similar, will crop up, even more untested and unknown, ( AMT was developed as an antidepressant in the 60's, and went through all normal clinical tests, as any drug would )... when users only use these obscure "legal highs" in the first place because they don't have reliable access to better researched drugs (such as MDMA and LSD, which have established safety profiles ).
Been reading up a bit on Timothy Leary. Wouldn't mind hearing your opinion on the guy.
[quote][p][bold]Abkhazsoyuz[/bold] wrote: Any drug related death is a tragedy, but making these substances illegal doesn't reduce harm or reduce availability. It's time for David Cameron to set up a Royal Commission to investigate drugs policy before the situation gets worse. Even before AMT eventually gets banned later this year, a new chemical ,similar, will crop up, even more untested and unknown, ( AMT was developed as an antidepressant in the 60's, and went through all normal clinical tests, as any drug would )... when users only use these obscure "legal highs" in the first place because they don't have reliable access to better researched drugs (such as MDMA and LSD, which have established safety profiles ).[/p][/quote]Been reading up a bit on Timothy Leary. Wouldn't mind hearing your opinion on the guy. userds5050
  • Score: 2

9:24am Fri 13 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

Abkhazsoyuz wrote:
Any drug related death is a tragedy, but making these substances illegal doesn't reduce harm or reduce availability. It's time for David Cameron to set up a Royal Commission to investigate drugs policy before the situation gets worse.
Even before AMT eventually gets banned later this year, a new chemical ,similar, will crop up, even more untested and unknown, ( AMT was developed as an antidepressant in the 60's, and went through all normal clinical tests, as any drug would )... when users only use these obscure "legal highs" in the first place because they don't have reliable access to better researched drugs (such as MDMA and LSD, which have established safety profiles ).
You clearly believe that people will continue dosing themselves with bog and oven cleaner. You may know something of it. Do they drink and drive? Not wear seatbelts? Put their bits where, as Lord Montgomery once memorably said "no gentleman would put the ferrule of his umbrella"?
It's all very odd but why don't we have the Swiss Law? Unless Arthur Daley can prove that the latest packet of chimpanzee depilatory cream that he's flogging to college kids from his lockup is safe, it's illegal.
[quote][p][bold]Abkhazsoyuz[/bold] wrote: Any drug related death is a tragedy, but making these substances illegal doesn't reduce harm or reduce availability. It's time for David Cameron to set up a Royal Commission to investigate drugs policy before the situation gets worse. Even before AMT eventually gets banned later this year, a new chemical ,similar, will crop up, even more untested and unknown, ( AMT was developed as an antidepressant in the 60's, and went through all normal clinical tests, as any drug would )... when users only use these obscure "legal highs" in the first place because they don't have reliable access to better researched drugs (such as MDMA and LSD, which have established safety profiles ).[/p][/quote]You clearly believe that people will continue dosing themselves with bog and oven cleaner. You may know something of it. Do they drink and drive? Not wear seatbelts? Put their bits where, as Lord Montgomery once memorably said "no gentleman would put the ferrule of his umbrella"? It's all very odd but why don't we have the Swiss Law? Unless Arthur Daley can prove that the latest packet of chimpanzee depilatory cream that he's flogging to college kids from his lockup is safe, it's illegal. Dai Rear
  • Score: 0

10:53am Fri 13 Jun 14

wossit says...

"Trainee doctor Doug Ferguson, 19, from Chandler’s Ford, died after taking the drug in June 2012 after being taken ill at a house in Heathfield Road"

A Trainee doctor, what can i say
"Trainee doctor Doug Ferguson, 19, from Chandler’s Ford, died after taking the drug in June 2012 after being taken ill at a house in Heathfield Road" A Trainee doctor, what can i say wossit
  • Score: 2

11:12am Fri 13 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

wossit wrote:
"Trainee doctor Doug Ferguson, 19, from Chandler’s Ford, died after taking the drug in June 2012 after being taken ill at a house in Heathfield Road"

A Trainee doctor, what can i say
I thought about that but in fairness all it means is that he was in his first year at coll, doing a science degree, like tens of thousands of others.
[quote][p][bold]wossit[/bold] wrote: "Trainee doctor Doug Ferguson, 19, from Chandler’s Ford, died after taking the drug in June 2012 after being taken ill at a house in Heathfield Road" A Trainee doctor, what can i say[/p][/quote]I thought about that but in fairness all it means is that he was in his first year at coll, doing a science degree, like tens of thousands of others. Dai Rear
  • Score: 2

1:21pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Taskforce 141 says...

Well done Echo - sadly you will have achieved nothing! Unfortunately the problem with legal highs as i have said before is that on a molecular level they are "legal" so if then a specific molecular formation is made illegal the people designing the drug will change it yet again on a molecular level thus making it legal but potentially more harmful!

When will someone admit that the "war on drugs" was lost a long time ago and with the prohibition of drugs comes the underground network of dealing and criminal gangs! If all drugs were legal then, yes it would be dangerous as anyone could access them but there would be no organised gangs fighting for drug control, distributors could be licensed so the drugs are "safer", and it could be taxed!

I believe Sweden took the approach of legalising everything including heroin and despite what people thought would happen - there was a reduction in use and people who wanted to seek help with their addictions felt it was less of a taboo subject and sought help!
Well done Echo - sadly you will have achieved nothing! Unfortunately the problem with legal highs as i have said before is that on a molecular level they are "legal" so if then a specific molecular formation is made illegal the people designing the drug will change it yet again on a molecular level thus making it legal but potentially more harmful! When will someone admit that the "war on drugs" was lost a long time ago and with the prohibition of drugs comes the underground network of dealing and criminal gangs! If all drugs were legal then, yes it would be dangerous as anyone could access them but there would be no organised gangs fighting for drug control, distributors could be licensed so the drugs are "safer", and it could be taxed! I believe Sweden took the approach of legalising everything including heroin and despite what people thought would happen - there was a reduction in use and people who wanted to seek help with their addictions felt it was less of a taboo subject and sought help! Taskforce 141
  • Score: 3

2:06pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

And all the dealers will just say "nice while it lasted" and get a job as a check out operator at Tesco? No ta, they're welcome to carry on selling garbage to dafties. Any alternative occupation would prejudice the normal population of the country
And all the dealers will just say "nice while it lasted" and get a job as a check out operator at Tesco? No ta, they're welcome to carry on selling garbage to dafties. Any alternative occupation would prejudice the normal population of the country Dai Rear
  • Score: 3

10:50pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Tony Blair's Accountant says...

People have been taking mind altering substances for the past 50,000 years. 60 years ago we started banning them. Good luck with that.
Legalise them, and we can start to control quality, just like we've done with alcohol and tobacco.
There will still be dodgy copies, but this is about minimising the damage to our population.
People have been taking mind altering substances for the past 50,000 years. 60 years ago we started banning them. Good luck with that. Legalise them, and we can start to control quality, just like we've done with alcohol and tobacco. There will still be dodgy copies, but this is about minimising the damage to our population. Tony Blair's Accountant
  • Score: -1

5:54am Sat 14 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

Tony Blair's Accountant wrote:
People have been taking mind altering substances for the past 50,000 years. 60 years ago we started banning them. Good luck with that.
Legalise them, and we can start to control quality, just like we've done with alcohol and tobacco.
There will still be dodgy copies, but this is about minimising the damage to our population.
Yeah, this one's already been done in the Oxford Mail-"under the ghastly 1960's heading "she didn't want to die she just wanted to get high"
[quote][p][bold]Tony Blair's Accountant[/bold] wrote: People have been taking mind altering substances for the past 50,000 years. 60 years ago we started banning them. Good luck with that. Legalise them, and we can start to control quality, just like we've done with alcohol and tobacco. There will still be dodgy copies, but this is about minimising the damage to our population.[/p][/quote]Yeah, this one's already been done in the Oxford Mail-"under the ghastly 1960's heading "she didn't want to die she just wanted to get high" Dai Rear
  • Score: 1

12:02pm Sat 14 Jun 14

cantthinkofone says...

Tony Blair's Accountant wrote:
People have been taking mind altering substances for the past 50,000 years. 60 years ago we started banning them. Good luck with that.
Legalise them, and we can start to control quality, just like we've done with alcohol and tobacco.
There will still be dodgy copies, but this is about minimising the damage to our population.
Bingo.

Prohibition kills.

Legalise. Educate. Regulate.
[quote][p][bold]Tony Blair's Accountant[/bold] wrote: People have been taking mind altering substances for the past 50,000 years. 60 years ago we started banning them. Good luck with that. Legalise them, and we can start to control quality, just like we've done with alcohol and tobacco. There will still be dodgy copies, but this is about minimising the damage to our population.[/p][/quote]Bingo. Prohibition kills. Legalise. Educate. Regulate. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 3

12:20pm Sat 14 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

"Prohibition kills." So does MDMA-spontaneously. You want to be the pharmacist who sells it?

"Legalise. Educate. Regulate" The "State is best" mantra. The State is rarely best. Mostly it's cr*p. Why will it be different this time?
How much "education" do YOU need to know that there's a lot of nasty stuff out there which will kill or maim you mentally and that it's very simple to avoid-don't buy the filth? I think I'd have twigged that by 9. Wouldn't you?
"Prohibition kills." So does MDMA-spontaneously. You want to be the pharmacist who sells it? "Legalise. Educate. Regulate" The "State is best" mantra. The State is rarely best. Mostly it's cr*p. Why will it be different this time? How much "education" do YOU need to know that there's a lot of nasty stuff out there which will kill or maim you mentally and that it's very simple to avoid-don't buy the filth? I think I'd have twigged that by 9. Wouldn't you? Dai Rear
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Sat 14 Jun 14

FoysCornerBoy says...

Dai Rear wrote:
"Prohibition kills." So does MDMA-spontaneously. You want to be the pharmacist who sells it?

"Legalise. Educate. Regulate" The "State is best" mantra. The State is rarely best. Mostly it's cr*p. Why will it be different this time?
How much "education" do YOU need to know that there's a lot of nasty stuff out there which will kill or maim you mentally and that it's very simple to avoid-don't buy the filth? I think I'd have twigged that by 9. Wouldn't you?
So you agree with an authoritarian state when it seeks to prohibit the sale and consumption of substances - when deemed detrimental to health - but condemn the idea of more benign state regulation which would seek to regulate in order to reduce harm and (possibly) generate additional revenue for important public services (er... including education on the risks of substance misuse).
[quote][p][bold]Dai Rear[/bold] wrote: "Prohibition kills." So does MDMA-spontaneously. You want to be the pharmacist who sells it? "Legalise. Educate. Regulate" The "State is best" mantra. The State is rarely best. Mostly it's cr*p. Why will it be different this time? How much "education" do YOU need to know that there's a lot of nasty stuff out there which will kill or maim you mentally and that it's very simple to avoid-don't buy the filth? I think I'd have twigged that by 9. Wouldn't you?[/p][/quote]So you agree with an authoritarian state when it seeks to prohibit the sale and consumption of substances - when deemed detrimental to health - but condemn the idea of more benign state regulation which would seek to regulate in order to reduce harm and (possibly) generate additional revenue for important public services (er... including education on the risks of substance misuse). FoysCornerBoy
  • Score: -1

1:59pm Sat 14 Jun 14

Dai Rear says...

"benign state"= oxymoron
"additional revenue"
Yep, you got it. Hyper-taxation of the stuff, which means that cheaper alternatives will still be bought, so, no change.
"including education on the risks of substance misuse" Don't you insult young people by assuming they can't work out that buying and consuming some filthy powder off a seedy low-life is pretty much the same as drinking copiously of the liquid at the bottom of a public lavatory pan?
I know my children didn't need to have it spelled out and I'm sure yours didn't either.
Please don't wish for more quangos-"Safeguardin
g & baaing our ickle childring from drug misuse" Chairwoman Lady Virago, formerly of the Campaign for Unilateral Disarmament.
"benign state"= oxymoron "additional revenue" Yep, you got it. Hyper-taxation of the stuff, which means that cheaper alternatives will still be bought, so, no change. "including education on the risks of substance misuse" Don't you insult young people by assuming they can't work out that buying and consuming some filthy powder off a seedy low-life is pretty much the same as drinking copiously of the liquid at the bottom of a public lavatory pan? I know my children didn't need to have it spelled out and I'm sure yours didn't either. Please don't wish for more quangos-"Safeguardin g & baaing our ickle childring from drug misuse" Chairwoman Lady Virago, formerly of the Campaign for Unilateral Disarmament. Dai Rear
  • Score: 4

11:53pm Sun 15 Jun 14

Dr Martin says...

Taskforce 141 wrote:
Well done Echo - sadly you will have achieved nothing! Unfortunately the problem with legal highs as i have said before is that on a molecular level they are "legal" so if then a specific molecular formation is made illegal the people designing the drug will change it yet again on a molecular level thus making it legal but potentially more harmful!

When will someone admit that the "war on drugs" was lost a long time ago and with the prohibition of drugs comes the underground network of dealing and criminal gangs! If all drugs were legal then, yes it would be dangerous as anyone could access them but there would be no organised gangs fighting for drug control, distributors could be licensed so the drugs are "safer", and it could be taxed!

I believe Sweden took the approach of legalising everything including heroin and despite what people thought would happen - there was a reduction in use and people who wanted to seek help with their addictions felt it was less of a taboo subject and sought help!
I think you mean Portugal not Sweden ( In regards to their respective drug laws, these countries have vastly different policies on illicit drug use)

Overall effects of Portugal's drug policy include Illicit drug use is rising amongst adults (use by children is falling) and the number of drug addicts who have undergone rehab has increased "dramatically" , that sort of treatment is not cheap especially for an economy in deeper s**t than ours
[quote][p][bold]Taskforce 141[/bold] wrote: Well done Echo - sadly you will have achieved nothing! Unfortunately the problem with legal highs as i have said before is that on a molecular level they are "legal" so if then a specific molecular formation is made illegal the people designing the drug will change it yet again on a molecular level thus making it legal but potentially more harmful! When will someone admit that the "war on drugs" was lost a long time ago and with the prohibition of drugs comes the underground network of dealing and criminal gangs! If all drugs were legal then, yes it would be dangerous as anyone could access them but there would be no organised gangs fighting for drug control, distributors could be licensed so the drugs are "safer", and it could be taxed! I believe Sweden took the approach of legalising everything including heroin and despite what people thought would happen - there was a reduction in use and people who wanted to seek help with their addictions felt it was less of a taboo subject and sought help![/p][/quote]I think you mean Portugal not Sweden ( In regards to their respective drug laws, these countries have vastly different policies on illicit drug use) Overall effects of Portugal's drug policy include Illicit drug use is rising amongst adults (use by children is falling) and the number of drug addicts who have undergone rehab has increased "dramatically" , that sort of treatment is not cheap especially for an economy in deeper s**t than ours Dr Martin
  • Score: 0

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