A campaign to tackle the use of legal highs has been launched in Hertfordshire.

The new campaign, set up by Hertfordshire Constabulary, with the support of the County Council, Trading Standards, and charity Spectrum, is called Why Gamble With Your Life, and is aimed to educate 14-35-year olds on the dangers of taking legal highs.

Also known as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), the name ‘legal high’ is often misleading, and their use has resulted in fatalities in Hertfordshire, as well as other parts of the UK.

At a media briefing this morning, Chief Inspector Ken Townsend, who is based in St Albans, said: “Just because a drug is legal to possess, doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous.

“They are known as legal highs but deliver fatal lows.”

Legal highs contain one or more chemical substances which produce similar effects to illegal drugs, but are not yet controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The risks they present are long term and have been known to cause organ failure, brain damage or death.

Chief Inspector Townsend added that the campaign would provide lifesaving information for the community, in schools, through social media and Spotify.

Trading standards will also be making sure stores which sell the substances are operating within government legislation, and charity Spectrum will be providing a service specifically for users of legal highs, as well as illegal drugs.

The Government is currently working on a new plan to ban drugs, and Chief Inspector Townsend said: “I hope this campaign goes some way to deterring those thinking of using these substances.”