legal high known as "mexxy" is to be outlawed, the Government has announced. It follows concerns that two people whose bodies were found in Leicestershire in February may have taken some form of the drug after buying it over the internet. Methoxetamine, or mexxy, will initially be made illegal for 12 months while Government advisers decide whether to ban it completely. Crime Prevention Minister Lord Henley said: "Making this drug illegal sends a clear message to users and those making and supplying it that we are stepping up our fight against substances which are dangerous and ruin the lives of victims and their families. "But making drugs illegal is only part of the solution. "It is important for users of these harmful substances to understand that just because they are described as legal highs, it does not mean they are safe or should be seen as a 'safer' alternative to illegal substances." Anyone caught making, supplying or importing the drug faces up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine. Under the change in law, police and border officials will also have new powers to search or detain anyone they suspect of having the drug and seize, keep or dispose of a substance they suspect is methoxetamine. After its growing use as a party drug, the Home Office referred mexxy to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) for its views on controlling it earlier this month. The drug, used as an alternative to ketamine, is widely available on the internet. Its effects include a faster heart rate, hallucinations, hypertension, loss of balance, higher blood pressure, agitation and cardiovascular conditions. Tests by the ACMD also found evidence that use of methoxetamine can lead to "significant additional toxicity". Professor Les Iversen, chairman of the ACMD, said: "The evidence shows that the use of methoxetamine can cause harm to users."