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The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Topic of the Day - Head Shops

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Today, we're joined by 19 year-old Dubliner Daryl Smith who had a traumatic experience after using a product that he bought in a Head Shop. Daryl took the head shop product two weeks ago and later found himself on the railway track, preparing to throw himself in front of a train. Luckily, it was late at night and no train came.

Daryl doesn't remember how long he waited for a train and says he brought a screwdriver as a back-up plan. Daryl says that stabbed himself with the screwdriver and wandered around North Dublin before passing out at a bus stop. He was found by gardaí and taken to hospital. He said he had bought Wild Cat from a head shop because it was said to mimic the effect of cocaine. Head shops sell legal highs and drug paraphernalia. Daryl's reason for going public with his story is because he wants to warn others to stay away from the substance.

The Government has recently passed new regulations which would ban the sale of a range of head shop substances from June. It includes Spice and BZP derivatives. Other products facing a ban include the products containing mephedrone, such as Wild Cat, and methylone, tapentodal - a painkiller-type drug, and a number of psychotropic substances. The sale and possession of these substances will now be made illegal and subject to criminal sanctions under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

We're also joined by Dr Bobby Smyth, from the Drug Treatment Centre Board.

Dr Bobby Smyth is a Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, working full time with adolescents who have addiction problems for the past seven years, based at the Young Persons Program in The Drug Treatment Centre Board and at the HSE Youth Drug & Alcohol Service in Tallaght. He is also a clinical lecturer with the Department of Public Health & Primary Care in Trinity College.

Dr Smyth is a member of the HSE Working Group on Quality and Standards in Addiction Services. He is a member of the Early Warning & Emerging Trends sub-committee of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs.

Dr Smyth sat on the Department of Health working party examining treatment services for under 18s with serious addiction problems in Ireland.

He has been involved in addiction research for past fifteen years and has published over 20 addiction research papers in national & international peer reviewed journals.