’Legal highs’ alert after teenager collapses at rave

Roof-running louts reported in Cowplain

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THE collapse of a teenager at a rave where people were taking laughing gas has sparked a warning about the dangers of ‘legal highs’.

The 19-year-old man was found in the car park at Farlington Marshes in Farlington after an illegal all-night party in a nearby tunnel running underneath the A27.

It is believed passers-by raised the alarm at 8am on Sunday and may even have tried to resuscitate the man before an ambulance arrived.

He was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham in a serious condition and was kept in intensive care for 24 hours before being discharged yesterday.

It is understood that no alcohol was found in the man’s system.

Tests have not yet revealed whether he had taken legal or illegal drugs.

When police searched the scene they discovered up to 50 empty canisters of what police say is nitrous oxide or laughing gas.

Officers also seized white powder, believed to be illegal drugs, which is being tested.

Police estimate about 40 people attended the illegal party on Saturday night.

Inspector Jim Atherton said: ‘We know that some parents are aware their children attend raves such as these, but they may not be aware of the risks of legal highs and the heightened dangers when mixing them with alcohol or other drugs.

‘These sorts of parties are not always as innocent as they may seem and those attending are often putting themselves at risk.

‘Some party-goers are taking drugs and putting themselves at further risk with the chance of wandering away from the group into the marshes where they can become lost and be too far away from the group to call for help.’

He added: ‘Our clear warning is for people not to experiment by accepting offers of legal high drugs.

‘Ask yourself whether you seriously know what ingredients make up the substance you’re thinking of taking.

‘Your decision to experiment could have terrible consequences for your health, life and family.’

Police say they were alerted to the rave by the ambulance service.

Inspector Atherton added: ‘We did not receive any reports from the community about the illegal outdoor party or “rave” which was held at Farlington Marshes at the weekend.

‘This may be because the location is fairly remote and away from residential areas.’