On Air Now
8 August 2016, 05:00
The number of people needing emergency treatment after taking so-called 'legal highs' has dropped by 91% in the North East since a blanket ban was introduced, a Heart investigation has found.
A change in the law banning the production, sale and supply of the drugs, which are also known as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), was introduced in May.
The legislation came seven months after Heart revealed 'legal highs' or NPS were being mixed with Class B drugs and sold in a shop in Newcastle city centre.
Figures given to us by the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) show it received on average 114 call outs relating to NPS a month prior to the blanket ban.
In June there were 10, followed by 12 in July.
Lynn Pyburn from the NEAS revealed the huge drop in call outs to Heart's Martin Lindsay, but reiterated it hasn't solved the whole problem:
We approached Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland Police to find out how many arrests they've made following the introduction of the new law, but they couldn't provide any figures.