South Scotland

Legal high warning ahead of Eden Festival

a collection of confiscated legal highs Image copyright PA

Police have warned about the dangers of so-called "legal highs" ahead of a music festival in southern Scotland.

They said they had been working with organisers of the Eden Festival at Raehills near Beattock which starts on Thursday.

A condition of entry will be that new psychoactive substances (NPS) will not be permitted on the site.

Police stressed that recent legislation had made it an offence to produce or distribute them.

Event commander, Ch Insp Stephen Stiff, said: ''I am delighted that the event is almost upon us again.

"The organisers, the emergency services and the many agencies involved have packed in a huge amount of work during months of planning to deliver what will be another tremendous festival.

''The Eden Festival is a growing event that has been built on a lot of the experience, know-how and good-old fashioned hard work of everyone concerned."

The event is expected to be attended by an 8,000 sell-out crowd.

'Respect for others'

''Our priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of our communities, including the community that gathers for the weekend at The Eden Festival," said Ch Insp Stiff.

"We want people to have fun and enjoy what is sure to be another excellent festival.

''At the same time we want them to look after themselves, have respect for others and be mindful that what is against the law in Scotland is also against the law within any festival venue in Scotland.

"Police Scotland will adopt the same pro-active approach to the dealing and misuse of drugs at The Eden Festival as we do across the rest of Scotland."

He also flagged up the new laws on NPS and the dangers of taking them.

'Medical assistance'

"Anyone who takes these substances has no idea of what they actually contain," he said.

"Medical professionals also struggle to identify the make up of these drugs and as such can make it problematic for them to treat the effects.

"They could have been mixed with drugs or other substances and their use becomes even more perilous when taken with alcohol or, indeed, other substances.

"Anyone who feels ill as a result of taking any substances should seek medical assistance immediately and others should stay with the person who is unwell until help arrives."

He said the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and amyl nitrate (poppers) was also banned and would be treated in the same manner as NPS.

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