Christmas is approaching fast and the party season will soon be in full swing. Alongside alcohol there is also the risk of drugs and legal highs being used.
Drugs and legal highs are less accepted and are not seen as normal behaviour for most. Most young people will have some understanding of drugs and that they can be dangerous, but legal highs give a different image due to the work legal. Just because something is called legal it does not mean it is safe to use.
All drugs pose a risk to a person’s health and we all react differently. Some drugs can be addictive making further use more likely and most can affect a person’s emotional and mental health. Legal highs, just like illegal drugs have not been tested for safety, and are often designed to replicate other illegal drugs and are often found in bright attractive packaging. There is now a ban on the sale of legal highs, which means they are no longer found in the shops, but are still available.
Parents can help by talking to their children about drugs and this has been proven to be effective.
I am a parent as well as a health professional and still find drugs and legal highs confusing. Getting facts that are up to date about drugs and legal highs is helpful and the websites suggested will help.
If you suspect your teenager is using drugs or legal highs talk to them in a calm manner and offer them support in seeking help. Try to remain calm as shouting will not achieve anything. Addaction is available in Lincolnshire and more information can be found on their website: www.addaction.org.uk
FRANK is also a very useful website for both parents and young people, with up to date information, online chat service, local support log and more. http://www.talktofrank.com
If you are concerned about drug or substance misuse or want more information the following websites will help:
If someone is in immediate danger due to drug or substance misuse call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest accident and emergency department. Alternatively for less urgent support visit you GP or local Addaction.