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Public health experts have warned an upcoming inquiry into so-called “legal highs” that growing use of the party drugs could lead to increases in sexually-transmitted and blood-borne diseases.
Public Health Wales said there was evidence of increased blood-borne virus transmission in Wales as a consequence of “new psychoactive substances” (NPS) use, particularly among the gay community.
The National Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee was also warned there was evidence of NPS use being mixed with harder drugs, which could lead to unknown effects on physical and mental health.
Police officers also called for the Welsh Government to work with the UK Government to consider beefing up powers for Welsh councils to target outlets that sell unregulated drugs – which often contain cocktails of dangerous ingredients.
Public Health Wales told the committee in evidence ahead of an inquiry: “There is clear evidence of increased blood borne virus transmission in the UK and Wales as a consequence of NPS use.
“Increases have been recorded for HIV and sexually-transmitted infection transmission among ‘chem-sex’ party goers where NPS and other drugs are taken over a prolonged weekend period. The parties are usually sex parties primarily between men who have sex with men.
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