Gap Year students who travel to South East Asia tell tales of “happy pizzas” topped with illegal drugs such as magic mushrooms and marijuana, but now pizza restaurants in the UK have figured out away to sell legal highs as pizza toppings. Drug workers say that pizza takeaways in the North of England are putting peoples’ lives at risk by selling them legal highs.
Many of the so called “legal” highs are not legal to be sold as food at all, only as incense or plant food, but takeaways are getting away with it. A drug worker from Newcastle made a statement to a local paper saying:
“People in the city are telling us this is going on and we are investigating. It is very worrying given that there is often not enough research about legal highs to know about their potency, adverse effects from human consumption, or when used with other substances or alcohol. They are potentially life-threatening so to put them on a pizza is shocking.”
Temporary Superintendent Bruce Storey, of Newcastle Area Command, said this is happening all over the UK, not just in the North.
He added: “Should we receive information to suggest this is becoming an issue in our area, we will take swift action to investigate it further, working alongside our partner agencies.
“Using these substances, in the way they are intended or otherwise, isn’t safe. They have the potential to kill or have a devastating impact on someone’s health as they often contain potentially dangerous chemicals.
“We would continue to urge people to steer clear of them however they are offered.”
According to drug addict charity Addaction, legal highs are more available in the North East than elsewhere in England.
a spokesman said: “Instead of only being available in so-called head shops, legal highs are in more mainstream outlets in the region, like garages and takeaways, and news that they are being sold as pizza toppings is deeply concerning.
“When people take these they don’t know what’s going to happen. Just because they are called legal doesn’t mean they are fine – they just haven’t been classified. They can result in psychotic episodes, hallucinations and people not feeling part of reality, which can lead to them taking unnecessary risks. And if someone has a crisis and needs medical help it is very hard for doctors to know what was in the high they took.
One woman was hospitalized in 2011 by a Happy Pizza she ate in Newcastle. These Happy Pizzas aren’t likely to make you very happy. Better stick to regular pizzas if you know what’s good for ya!