Posted on 18th May 2015
Police in Buxton have teamed up to host a talk for local people around the dangers of using 'legal highs'.
The Buxton Town Safer Neighbourhood Team joined forces with specialist Steve Holme, to speak to residents following recent incidents involving young people using the substances.
Members of the public including staff from local care homes, assisted housing and also local secondary schools, were invited along to Buxton Divisional Headquarters on Friday, May 8 to learn more about 'legal highs'.
New Psychoactive Substances, or more commonly known as legal highs, are becoming more readily available with hundreds of varieties being sold on the market. Their use by some is causing collapses and admissions to hospital, along with a rise of anti-social behaviour.
Steve Holme, central drug reception manager for the force said: "For every illegal drug there are dozens of legal substances being sold as alternatives.
"They are sold under a variety of different brand names, however the contents of each brand regularly changes and just because a user has not had any adverse reaction to a particular brand once, doesn't mean that it won't happen next time.
"Synthetic cannabinoids, which mimic some of the effects of cannabis, are a particular concern as they are the most commonly used range of substances. These are also often sprayed onto hallucinogenic plant material, which isn't expected by many users.
"Put simply, you cannot rely on the labelling on packets, or on the brand name if you choose to use one of these substances.
"The key messages around the substance are, legal doesn't mean safe. You can't know what is in any of these packets without forensic testing. Secondly, legal doesn't always mean legal; on some occasions it has been found that the packets actually contain illegal substances.
"Look after your friends. If someone has taken any of these substances and appear to be struggling with the effects, please call an ambulance. "
PCSO Linda Cook from the local policing team said: "We had more than 20 people attend the talk and the feedback we had was excellent. It addressed key issues around the substances and raised awareness of the dangers that they can pose.
"The key message to take away is that legal doesn't always mean legal and they are not worth taking a risk with your health. If you are concerned about a friend who may have taken such substances, seek medical help."
For further information on legal highs, talk to Frank at www.talktofrank.com
To speak to the Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Team, call 101 and follow them on Twitter: @BuxtonTownSNT