Danger of ‘legal highs’

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While the recent good weather is welcome, it can sometimes bring issues such as anti-social behaviour, or ASB.

There is a balance to be had when considering the role of young people in ASB. Very often they are the victims not the perpetrators.

It would be wrong to demonise all young people as being tearaways who cause problems on the streets. That said, some of the ASB we deal with does lie at the hands of youngsters.

I would therefore ask parents to pay particular attention to what their children are doing.

When they go out, do you know where they are going, and who with? Do you ever check? When they come back, do you talk with them, and are they under the influence of alcohol or other substances? This last bit is particularly important.

We will always take alcohol off young people. If caught in possession repeatedly, an offence is committed. Most people understand how alcohol can affect behaviour in a negative way.

However, I must also highlight the dangers of so-called ‘legal highs’, with which some young people are tempted to experiment and which can also lead to ASB.

There really is no way of knowing whether what has been bought is legal or not. So many substances are not what they claim be, or can be cut with other chemicals.

The great problem though is that people confuse the word ‘legal’ with the word ‘safe’.

Even if possessing the substance might not be a criminal offence, the odds are that it will not have been properly tested, or even ever intended for human consumption.

It can have dire consequences in terms of not only behaviour, but also health.

There is a wealth of information on legal highs available at www.talktofrank.com. If you have concerns please visit the website, because young people are too valuable to lose.

As reported recently in The Advertiser, the Bank Holiday often leads to more drinking, resulting in violence and disorder, especially domestic-related violence.

Many victims live in fear and feel they have nowhere to seek help and support.

We used the weekend to raising awareness of some of the support that is out there to help break the cycle of abuse.

If we help one person to get out of a damaging and hurtful relationship, then it is worthwhile.

I encourage anyone who is suffering in an abusive relationship to come forward.