A Maidstone drug and alcohol charity has decided to get involved in the battle against legal highs by offering training to professionals involved in addiction prevention and recovery. CRI Maidstone has a dual mission of assisting those in need of rehab while also educating the public.
Their recent training session was implemented as a way of educating the addiction recovery community about the emerging dangers of new (or novel) psychoactive substances, also known as legal highs. The legal high environment is changing so rapidly that it is difficult for healthcare and addiction professionals to keep up. CRI hopes their training will at least point professionals in the right direction.
The training focuses on a number of different elements:
- Available Products – The marketplace is currently flooded with hundreds of legal high products that most users believe are safer than the illicit drugs they mimic. Moreover, because the law is so vague, manufacturers are working around-the-clock to introduce as many new products as possible. Professionals need to learn about the most prevalent products to stay abreast of what users are ingesting.
- Education – Experts believe the most important thing that can be done right now is educating the public about the dangers of legal highs. They believe it is especially important to make sure young people understand legal highs are not harmless. These are just as dangerous and equally addictive.
- Harm Reduction – Substance abuse professionals have no means of preventing people from using legal highs, so another area of focus is trying to prevent as much harm as possible by giving clients sound advice. For example, a counsellor may advise a client to go slowly with a new product that he or she has not yet tried before.
Whether or not the training achieves positive results is something only time will tell. However, one thing is for sure: we must start taking the threat of these new psychoactive substances seriously. Any drug that alters the functioning of the brain is something that also comes with potentially serious consequences. If the problem is not dealt with now, we could find ourselves in an epidemic situation very quickly.
What You Need to Know
As a young person or the parent of one, there are some important things you need to know about legal highs. First and foremost, they are only legal because their chemical compositions do not fall within the boundaries of currently regulated drugs. They are NOT legal to be sold for human consumption. That is why manufacturers and head shops advertise the products as plant food or bath salts.
Second, legal highs are every bit as addictive as illicit drugs. Do not listen to the lie that you can use such products without any negative consequences. While it is true that some drugs are more addictive than others are, any psychoactive substance can lead to addiction.
Finally, the number of new products being introduced every month is alarmingly high. As such, no one really knows what’s in these drugs. Trusting manufacturers to create something safe is risky business given the fact that these people have demonstrated, by their very participation in the legal high trade, that they care little about the health and well-being of their customers. You or your children could be ingesting poison every time a legal high is used.
The staff at Addiction Helper plead with you to stay away from legal high substances. If you are already in trouble, please take advantage of our 24-hour helpline right away. We are here to help you overcome substance abuse at any level, with free advice and referrals.