Dad tells of Ben’s ‘legal high’ nightmare ordeal

Ben Dobson. (s)
Ben Dobson. (s)

A Burnley dad has spoken of the horrendous experience of seeing his son on a life support machine after taking a “legal high”.

Mark Dobson’s 24-year-old son, Ben, was spiked with Cotton Candy Carnage and ended up hallucinating before being found unconscious and fitting in the middle of Briercliffe Road.

He remembers running out of the house, the ground came up to swallow him and he just remembers grabbing hold of a car wheel

Dad

Ben, who lives in Duke Bar, was rushed to Royal Blackburn Hospital after somebody at Briercliffe Chippery dialled 999.

After regaining consciousness at hospital, Mark says Ben was “completely on another planet” as he watched on in horror as hospital staff battled to try to control him. Ben didn’t even recognise him.

Mark said: “He didn’t know what he had taken and they couldn’t treat him because they didn’t know what they were treating.

“His blood pressure was up, his heart rate was up and then he couldn’t breathe for himself.

“He was put on a life support machine. They tried to bring him round 24 hours later but he was still not breathing on this own but they tried again and thankfully he could.”

After unwittingly taking the drug, Ben disappeared for some time, ending up battered and bruised, but mystery remains how it happened.

Mark said: “He went missing for 20 minutes and in that time he ended up pretty smashed up with cuts and bruises all over him; his face, elbows, and chipped front teeth.

“We still don’t know what happened. He remembers running out of the house, the ground came up to swallow him and he just remembers grabbing hold of a car wheel.

“They sent him for an X-ray at the hospital thinking he might have been run over but there was nothing from that.”

Mark hopes by sharing Ben’s story, it will make others think twice.

He backs new legislation on psychoactive drugs which came into effect last week under the Psychoactive Substances Act, but already sees ways around it.

He added: “We’re just so relieved Ben is fine. He’s been quiet since. The experience has put him off everything. He’s been scared and has a four-year-old daughter to consider.

“We’ve had a bad week. It left us with sleepless nights. I wouldn’t want any parent to go through what we did. They just don’t know what they are taking.

“I welcome the new ban, I think it will be a help.

“The website which I believe it was bought from has been taken down but another one has appeared saying grow your own and people will get hold of it if they want to.”