A MOTHER who took legal highs to help her sleep suffered a ‘psychotic episode’ which left her so fearful of her safety she took a baseball bat to bed.
Natasha Crispin believed her flat, in Cross Street, Worthing, was bugged with hidden cameras and people were trying to harm her family after smoking two substances purchased from a local shop.
If our lives were on a rug, it got ripped from underneath us and we felt helpless.Jordan Pink
Miss Crispin and her partner Jordan Pink now want the sale of the imitation drugs banned to protect others from the ‘hell’ they have experienced over the past two weeks.
Mr Pink, 32, said: “If our lives were on a rug, it got ripped from underneath us and we felt helpless.
“I was watching the person I love go through the worst times she has experienced in her life and wasn’t able to help. People have lost children to this stuff – people are dying because of it.”
The couple began experimenting with legal highs after Miss Crispin struggled to control her depression and had trouble sleeping, following the loss of her baby and mother in June, 2012.
Prescription medication was not helping, so she turned to cannabis equivalents ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Magnum’, which initially eased her symptoms.
But things quickly took a turn for the worse, as she developed side effects which led to a breakdown.
Mr Pink said: “It started with paranoid thoughts. She felt like the whole world was out to get her and there was some sort of conspiracy against her.
“She was going to bed with a baseball bat and was terrified for her own safety. It came on all of a sudden.”
While the horror was unfolding before Mr Pink’s eyes, Miss Crispin said she remembered very little of the episode.
She was treated at Worthing Hospital and is receiving ongoing support from a psychologist.
“To start with it helped me with sleep and that was all I wanted,” she said.
“I only remember small little bits. It just felt like I didn’t feel safe anymore, or my children or fiancee were safe at same time. I hid my partner’s phone and we still haven’t found it. I was looking for recording devices and hidden cameras.”
Legal highs cannot be sold for human consumption and are often packaged as plant food or bath salts. ‘Magnum’, which was taken by the couple, was marketed as pot pourri, with the ‘not for consumption’ label.
The couple want Worthing Borough Council to introduce a blanket ban on their sale and plan to approach general election candidates to lobby them to take the fight to Westminster.
Mr Pink said: “Legal highs? They should be called legal whys. Why would anyone think it’s a good idea to poison the population with these? Don’t go near them. It’s not worth it.”
A spokesman for West Sussex County Council warned taking legal highs could cause a variety of symptoms, including drowsiness, seizures and even death.
They said: “The chemicals that they contain have, in most cases, never been used in drugs for human consumption before.
“This means they haven’t been tested to show that they are safe. Users can never be certain what they are taking and what the effects might be – even if people think they are taking the same one that they have taken previously, they can’t be sure.”