Despite having been forewarned, several concertgoers at last weekend’s Parklife Festival in Manchester have been injured to due to the use of poppers. At least five people have been hospitalized due to the use of the drug, and though four of those people have been released, a twenty-six year old woman remains under watch. For those unfamiliar with the drug, which also goes by the name Liquid Gold, Jungle Juice, and Rush, it is referred to as a “legal high” and is usually sniffed, causing the blood vessels to dilate and allow more blood to get to the heart. “Swallowing” poppers or using them with a weak heart can cause blood pressure to dangerously drop and reduce oxygen to vital organs, resulting in death or unconsciousness. While poppers are not illegal, the chemicals that are used in them are heavily regulated under the Medicines Act 1968.
Officers seized over three hundred and seventy-five bottles of the “legal high” and made fifty-five arrests, many drug related. Chief Inspector Gary Simpson released an official statement warning individuals against the use of poppers saying, “We are now extremely concerned that people are drinking poppers and this poses a significant risk to life and would urge anyone using, or considering using them or any ‘legal high’ to cease from doing so immediately, before it’s too late.” He continued with, “Anyone who has consumed any of these substances is urged to seek medical help immediately. We are investigating the sale of these poppers and I want to stress the seriousness of selling or distributing ‘legal highs’ and warn people that we will not tolerate it.” On Saturday, Parklife’s Twitter posted a similar warning stating, “Please be aware poppers are being misused as shots. Don’t consume anything not sold from our bars, if you do seek medical advise immediately.”
To help crack down on the use of the drug, the event director of the festival, Jon Drape, took time before the festival even began to warn festival goers of the zero tolerance policy the festival has, not just towards illegal drugs but for “legal highs” as well. Not only would attendees be ejected from the festival, whose slots include performances by Mark Ronson; Ben Howard; Fatboy Slim; and Disclosure, if either were found in their possession, but according to Drape, they would be handed over to the Greater Manchester police.
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