Legal highs ( Psychoactive Substances) are substances used like drugs, They offer the same highs as cocaine and cannabis.
A United Nations report published in 2013 showed 670,000 young people in the UK (aged 16-24) having taken a legal high: this makes the UK the highest consumers of legal highs in Europe.
Legal highs can carry serious health risks. The chemicals they contain have in most cases never been used in drugs for human consumption before, so haven’t been tested to show that they are safe.Users can never be certain what they are taking and what the effects might be. As with alcohol and other recreational drugs, users can suffer from reduced inhibitions, drowsiness, excited or paranoid states, coma, seizures and, in a few cases, death.
The chemical ingredients in a branded product can be changed without the user knowing, therefore the risks are unpredictable. For example a glass of wine would contain the same alcohol content allowing a person taking a social drink to understand the effects. This is not the same for legal highs resulting in a different reaction to the drug. Even drugs that look similar or have similar names may be of varying strengths and have different effects.
Legal highs are usually sold on internet sites as plant food, bath salts or herbal remedies. They may be labelled not for human consumption. Legal highs used alongside alcohol pose even greater risks to health and should be avoided.
These drugs are produced well outside of the standard rules and regulations – so there are massive variations in quality. Most medications are subjected to long studies and ‘safety testing’. This is not the case with ‘legal highs’, so nobody knows the short-term or long-term risks.
The #Ill_legal highs campaign aims to:
- Raise the awareness, risks and dangers of participating in the use of these drugs
- Provide information on the side-effects/health issues
- Advise how criminal records can affect a young person’s future
- Explain that one drug may not kill, but the next one might
- Educate parents/carers/teachers that legal highs does not mean safe
- Provide further information on the chemical mix of these products
- Offer incentives to young people to avoid them altogether
- Be inspirational by offering alternative futures
It is supported by all five South Yorkshire football Clubs: Barnsley FC, Doncaster Rovers FC, Rotherham United FC, Sheffield United FC, Sheffield Wednesday FC along with newly promoted Doncaster Rovers Belles and the Sheffield Steelers Ice Hockey Team.
The Facebook and Twitter accounts will send out images of all those involved displaying the eleven key messages. For more information visit the dedicated website for the campaign www.ill-legalhighs.co.uk
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