NEW students are to be warned by police about the dangers of so-called legal highs.

Thames Valley Police are to target the thousands of freshers who will arrive in Oxford from later this month.

The force is considering handing leaflets to students after the county’s director of public health, Dr Jonathan McWilliam, warned of the dangers of the substances in a report in June.

He said: “They are really the new challenge in the drug world. It’s something we need to get more eyes open to in this county.”

Oxford’s police commander, Superintendent Christian Bunt, said that legal highs were now causing problems for the emergency services.

He said: “We have seen an increase in people saying they have taken legal highs. It does seem that the national trend is playing out here in Oxford.”

Mr Bunt said the drugs left users vulnerable to crime and caused problems for medical staff, who might not know what substances had been taken.

He said: “There is no criminal aspect – our concern is more about people who put themselves at risk and in a vulnerable situation. A lot of them are having the exact same impact they are when they take illegal drugs.”

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