A number of so called legal highs have been seized by Larne Borough Council during a raid on a business in the town centre.
Staff from the local authority, accompanied by a number of police officers, carried out an inspection of Northern Lights hydroponics shop on Dunluce Street last Thursday.
The Larne Times understands that over 300 sachets of legal high substances were removed from sale at the premises.
A spokesman for the local authority said it is aware of people using what it termed “new psychoactive substances” – commonly known as legal highs – in the Larne area.
And he warned of “serious health and safety concerns” associated with using these dangerous substances.
“Psychoactive substances come in many different forms and were being sold from an outlet in the Larne area,” the spokesman said.
“The council wrote to the business advising that under consumer protection law they have a duty to ensure products they are selling are safe and that psychoactive substances, due to non-compliance with the requirements of consumer safety legislation, were considered to be unsafe.
“Council officers, with support from the PSNI, inspected the business and asked that psychoactive substances be removed from sale.
“The business agreed to surrender all products located within the premises.
“The matter continues to be investigated.”
Legal highs, which are freely-available through various outlets and the internet, have been blamed for a number of deaths across the UK in recent years.
Local campaign group PAL (Preventing Addiction Larne) has previously warned that the substances can be as dangerous, if not more so, than many banned drugs.
East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs welcomed the joint operation between police and the local authority and said: “I am aware that the sale of so called legal highs in the Larne area has resulted in additional crimes being committed in Larne as addicts try to feed their habit.
“Anyone who consumes these legal highs takes a huge risk with their health, as they have not been subject to product testing and indeed they are often taken in dangerous cocktails with other drugs or alcohol.”
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