Angelus, the only UK charity dedicated to raising awareness of the risks from ‘legal highs’, has achieved its goal of a ban on their sale. The Psychoactive Substances Act comes into force today, which will “demolish” the high street trade in ‘legal highs’.
The legal change will radically disrupt the new psychoactive substances market and reduce harms to young people. Angelus has also made clear the law alone is not enough; proper drugs education is vital to alert young people to the risks of taking these substances.
Angelus has campaigned for seven years against the open sale of ‘legal highs’ and is thankful for the Government taking such decisive action. However, the Government has spent no money raising public awareness, neither about the new law nor more generally on drugs education in schools. It has fallen to Angelus to produce its own education films exposing the dangers of these substances. The latest film, Drug News – Legal Highs to Be Banned, launched today, highlights the potential harms to young people as well as the legal change.
Angelus Founder, Maryon Stewart said, “It has taken seven long years of hard work and today represents a real milestone for Angelus. We are still lobbying Government to fund awareness campaigns that will prevent young people being harmed or dying needlessly like my daughter, Hester. I am immensely proud of Team Angelus who have battled against bureaucratic forces and those who would not see what a danger these substances pose.
“We now expect the high street headshop trade to be demolished. These shops have been pushing untested and often addictive substances for huge financial gain. It is a pernicious trade preying on people’s vulnerability. Thankfully it is over for them – we can now move forwards with more young people safe from the harms of ‘legal highs’. While it won’t give me back my beautiful, talented 21 year old daughter, it is a comfort to know that other children will remain well and lives will be saved.”
Chief Executive of Angelus, Jan King said, “This is a special day for Angelus. It is the culmination of a huge effort to finally get a grip on the open sale of these dangerous substances. We have seen so many cases of young people damaged by these legal drugs, often fooled into thinking they would be mild and safe. The legislation is a landmark for us but there are still many areas where legal highs have taken hold of communities. Angelus has still much to do spreading awareness of their risks and to make communities properly ‘Drug Aware’.”
SOURCE Angelus Foundation