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Call to ban head shop highs on internet

A ban on head shop highs must be extended to the internet to fully protect children against the deadly legal drugs, campaigners claimed today.

Despite legislation outlawing the sale of psychoactive substances, Youth Work Ireland warned they are still available online.

The organisation said the Government must now turn its attention to the "final frontier" of websites that continue to ship the potentially lethal hits into Ireland.

"Customs checks will help in this regard but realistically cannot cover every transaction," said spokesman Michael McLoughlin .

"There has been strong action involving internet service providers in relation to downloading music so surely this can be applied to this area."

Mr McLoughlin also called for consideration of changing online payments regulations, particularly for under-18s, to combat the importation of the herbal or synthetic highs.

Youth Work Ireland issued the warning as the Health Service Executive (HSE) launched a campaign about the dangers of taking psychoactive substances, after the recent Government-imposed ban.

Messages on radio adverts, in cinemas, bars, clubs and at festivals over the summer will caution about the danger of paranoia, impotence, kidney failure, heart problems, seizures and death as a result of taking legal or illegal drugs.

The website www.drugs.ie has been updated with new information on illegal or legal highs used as alternatives to the likes of cannabis and ecstasy.