Daniel Parks\u2019 wife had fallen asleep, shattered after a long day at the UK-based music festival Bestival. Daniel locked himself in the bathroom\u2014his mind frazzled by his use of drugs over the weekend\u2014and took a kitchen knife with him. He mutilated his lower arms, sending blood cascading down onto the floor of the small cubicle and waking his wife in the process. She found him in a distressed state, and called help for him immediately. Unfortunately, it was too late. Daniel was taken straight to the hospital, but he died from loss of blood. He thought he\u2019d been taking a legal high, but the inquest into his death has revealed that to be wrong. It may appear that the mistake he made was in being unaware of what he took. But when you look at the facts more closely, it becomes obvious that this was actually his second\u2014and least important\u2014mistake. The Story Daniel Parks was 35 and had purchased the drugs\u2014known as \u201cMagic Crystals\u201d\u2014on the Internet in preparation for the annual festival. He actually took the drugs (along with his wife) a few days before he died, and was a little subdued for a couple of days following the incident. His mood appeared to improve, and that night he and his wife returned to their camp fairly early in the evening. She went to sleep, and then the remainder of the story unfolded. Daniel was no stranger to legal highs, according to the BBC article, having consumed legal highs several times before his death and with a hospital admission in April of last year to his name. Undoubtedly, this wasn\u2019t the first time he\u2019d experimented, but it was unfortunately the last. What Did He Take? According to the report, the Magic Crystals were described as \u201cbath salts\u201d and very little else. This is obviously a problem, and could have been related to his death in some way, since he didn\u2019t know what he was actually taking. Further examination found that he was actually taking 4-Methylethcathinone, a drug otherwise known as \u201cmephedrone\u201d or \u201cmeow meow,\u201d which is illegal in both the U.S. and the U.K. In essence, there are many similarities between this drug and the infamous bath salts, which caused the zombie-like attack last year. This event was assumed to be directly tied to the updated legislation covering legal high drugs, and the U.K. has been taking similar action in its own fight against legalized drug abuse. Business is becoming more difficult for manufacturers of law-evading chemicals, but they are well equipped to continually produce new substances that skirt the existing legislation. Designer Drugs \u2013 Avoiding Laws and Endangering Users Designer drugs get their name because they are designed to resemble existing illicit drugs aren\u2019t technically covered by the laws governing them. This is obviously a huge problem, and one that legislation is always struggling to keep up with. Additional problems come from the fact that peddlers of these substances generally label them \u201cnot for human consumption\u201d and can update the formula to suit any new legislation. Those who manufacture the drugs avoid the law by attaching labels that tell users not to consume the contents. The problem is that\u2014although illicit drugs are dangerous\u2014designer drugs have different chemical structures by definition and therefore have different and potentially more harmful effects. Designer drugs are almost always extremely poorly tested and their risks are ordinarily only revealed through news stories and anecdotal evidence. His Second Mistake Many people may argue that this death isn\u2019t an argument against designer drugs, since the substance he actually took was legal, but this viewpoint willfully ignores the facts. Not knowing which substance he was taking is obviously dangerous\u2014since it could have been a substance he knew he\u2019d have a bad reaction to. However, the bigger mistake is deciding to take the designer drugs in the first place. Think about it like a new medication. People who enroll in clinical trials ordinarily do so because they\u2019re desperately in need of money and are willing to put themselves at risk. Taking designer drugs is exactly the same, except you don\u2019t get paid for it. In fact, you pay for the privilege of exposing yourself to potentially dangerous and untested chemicals. That\u2019s why taking the wrong substance was his second mistake\u2014the first one was deciding to take designer drugs in the first place. The bath salts story is a perfect illustration of the issue, since the substance was taken on purpose in that case. And guess what? It still went hugely, drastically wrong. That\u2019s because these substances aren\u2019t \u201csafe\u201d because they\u2019re legal; they just exploit a loophole in the law. In fact, the notion that \u201clegality\u201d equals \u201csafety\u201d could make designer drugs even more dangerous from a practical standpoint. People like Daniel Parks take these drugs without knowing their risks, and that is the biggest problem of all.