Yesterday I was pleased to be able to highlight the good work undertaken by Clued Up, a Kirkcaldy based charity, during a Government debate in the Scottish Parliament on the issue of New Psychoactive Substances, also known as ‘legal highs’.
‘Legal Highs’ are synthetic drugs that can be legally purchased from head shops in the high street or online.
According to official figures ‘legal highs’ where involved in some way in 52 drug related deaths in 2012. 5 of those deaths came with a ‘legal high’ being the only drug involved. The remaining 47 cases legal highs were found to also be present. Since 2010 over 200 substances that were once considered a ‘legal high’ have been banned.
Drug misuse is a problem prevalent in Fife and finding a solution is not easy. The rise in popularity of legal highs now makes that even harder. It is important to point out that legal does not mean safe. These substances carry risk and have often not been tested as safe for human consumption.
We have a difficult challenge in dealing with these substances as every time a current legal high is made illegal a new substance pops up to replace them. This makes it increasingly hard to find a definitive solution that will fully address the problem.
That is why it is important that organisations such as Clued Up are supported in the work they undertake. Education will play a vital part in ensuring that young people are aware of the risks involved, it’s important that those willing to undertake that work are adequately resourced to deal with the challenges that lie ahead.
Clued Up, which is a drug and alcohol awareness service, offers supports to young people aged between 12 and 25 who are experiencing difficulties with substance misuse.