The last week has seen an increase in the number of people suffering the effects of “legal highs”, doctors have warned.
Around 22 people have been treated by NHS Lothian, which takes in Edinburgh, during the period.
The health board said that the number treated is usually significantly lower.
The term “legal highs” is used to describe the abuse of substances that are designed for normal everyday use.
Those misusing the substances may experience fits, drowsiness, loss of bowel control, vomiting. Abuse could eventually lead to paranoia, kidney failure and hallucinations.
Jim Sherval, specialist in public health at NHS Lothian, said: “The chemicals used in legal highs change all the time, so people can never be certain what they are actually taking and what the effects might be.
“In most cases, the products have not been tested, so little is known about how toxic they are.
“It is important that people understand that just because a substance is legal or claimed to be legal, it doesn’t mean it is safe. We need to get across the message that these legal highs pose a real danger.”