LANCASHIRE County Council has backed a new Blackburn with Darwen action plan to tackle former ‘legal highs’ such as Spice.

County head of welfare Clare Platt endorsed the intelligence-led approach in the blueprint approved on Thursday night by the borough’s executive board.

Blackburn's children’s services boss Cllr Maureen Bateson highlighted the document’s warning that users risked taking variants of the Spice drug which has caused major problems in Manchester without realising it.

She said people taking the New Psychoactive Substances, banned last year, ‘can’t know what they are taking’.

Miss Platt said: “These are one of a number of substance misuse issues across the county.

“We’ve recently established a Preventing Harms Group made up of a number of organisations including the county council, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool councils, together with the police and treatment providers.

“We work together, using our knowledge and local intelligence to address the issues Lancashire faces.”

The Blackburn with Darwen plan calls for better intelligence on the use of the drugs and evidence of their effects, better education and prevention."