Police in 'legal highs' warning after teen dies at RockNess Festival

Police and health authorities raise concerns over designer drug known as 'Benzo Fury'

Police are warning festival goers against taking so-called “legal highs” after a teenager died and two other people were taken to hospital at the RockNess Festival in Scotland today.

A 19-year-old man collapsed in the main arena of the festival on Saturday night and died early this morning at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

A second 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were also taken to the hospital earlier today and are recovering.

Drugs are believed to be involved in all three incidents. Police and health authorities say they are particularly concerned about a “legal high” or designer drug known as Benzo Fury.

The RockNess Festival, on the shores of Loch Ness, attracts 35,000 music lovers over three days to see the likes of Ed Sheeran and Biffy Clyro. It began on Friday and ends today.

In a statement the Northern Constabulary said they were making inquiries into Benzo Fury “which it is believed may have been taken by those who are currently being treated in hospital”.

It added: “This is not a controlled drug. It may, however, be very dangerous, particularly if consumed with other substances.”

Designer drugs are slightly modified versions of illegal substances which the manufacturers hope will circumvent drug laws. Because of this they are difficult to control.

A spokesman for the charity Drugscope said that often trade names were switched to different products so it was impossible to know for certain what might be being taken.

“All you have to do is tweak the chemical formula and it is no longer illegal,” he said. “If people take ecstasy or ketamine they know there is a risk. But because these are marketed as ”legal highs“ they can assume they are therefore safe. The message has to be that they are not.”

Benzo Fury is marketed on the internet. Also known as 6-APB it is a stimulant based on MDA, a psychedelic drug similar to ecstasy.

Public Health Consultant Dr Cameron Stark added: “Our advice is simple: limit how much alcohol you drink, and don’t take none prescribed drugs.

If however you have taken non prescribed drugs including “legal highs”, it is really important that you don't combine them with alcohol. If you feel unwell or you are worried about a friend, please get immediate advice from the onsite medical team.“

Jim King, the organiser of the Rockness Festival, added: “What should be very clear from this information is that legal highs does not mean safe, and customers should not go anywhere near these dangerous substances. Festival goers should heed the advice given to them by the health professionals and the police, and stay safe by avoiding drugs of any kind.”

If anyone has any information they should contact police on 01463 715555 or speak to any officer.

Two men killed in coach crash on the way to festival

Meanwhile, police last night named two men killed in a road crash involving a bus taking people to the festival.

A van driver and his passenger died of their injuries following a collision with a bus on the A9 at Ralia, in the Highlands.

They are Mark McFarlane, 38, and Barry Murray, 28, from the Glasgow area, both painters and decorators.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower