London, Mar 29 (ANI): A new probe into "legal highs" has found that Chinese chemical factories are supplying drugs like mephedrone and methylone to British dealers.
The investigation also uncovered plans to outsmart the British authorities if they ban the drug mephedrone.
Shot with a hidden camera, the investigation was conducted by Sky News' film crew, who posed as customers and managed to buy legal highs in shops, markets and from online dealers.
Media attention has focused on mephedrone after the drug was linked to several deaths in recent weeks.
However, Sky's investigation discovered an entire new generation of chemical highs including substances such as methylone, butylone and MDPV.
All these drugs mimic the effects of other, better known drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy.
They are freely available with no legal consequences, though to avoid prosecution most dealers describe them as "plant food" or label them "not for human consumption."
Toxicologist Dr John Ramsey said that we are witnessing a revolution in the drug trade.
"We're seeing 10 or 11 new compounds every year coming out now," Sky News quoted him as saying.
"While they're legal they're really quite attractive for young people. They can experiment without the risk of getting a criminal record. The problem is, we don't know what the risks are. They've never been tested anywhere for safety," he added.
It is understood that Chinese chemical companies are supplying most dealers, said Ramsey.
"The Chinese chemical industry seems to provide anything at a price. So if somebody here orders something they'll either synthesize it or have it in stock, and they'll send it regardless of what it's to be used for," he said.
A quick search online reveals dozens of Chinese companies ready to sell mephedrone, methylone, MDPV and other drugs in bulk, which can even be ordered at the click of a mouse and sent by courier to Britain. (ANI)