East Londonderry DUP MLA George Robinson has urged the Health minister to work with his Westminster colleagues to legislate against so called “legal highs”.
Speaking duing an Assembly debate Mr Robinson suggested there was a link between using legal highs and suicide.
He said: “Do legal highs lead to suicide or fatal outcomes in a minority of cases? I believe that they do.
“This debate is all about people — people who think that it is acceptable to sell highly damaging drugs for personal profit without regard to the damage that is caused to other individuals and families. One report that I read described how a happy teenager was transformed into a suicidal teenager by legal highs.
“Does any Member present believe that that is an acceptable situation? Is it morally correct that, in Northern Ireland, we continue to let children as young as 11 have access to such dangerous substances?
“We must therefore act to stop these substances being made available, especially on the Internet, which, I was shocked to learn, still makes buying these deadly drugs relatively simple. Some websites even tell visitors which legal highs are already banned and cannot, therefore, be purchased.
“Legal highs ruin lives, end lives and destroy families. I believe, therefore, that they must be made illegal.”
After the debate Mr Robinson said: “There are too many families in Northern Ireland who are living with the consequences of people taking legal highs, either with permanent health difficulties or the aftermath of a death. The sooner these killers are taken out of the supply chain the better”.