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Bridge charity issues warning on legal-high drug use
Bradford’s biggest drugs charity is urging those dependent on legal highs to seek help as the number of people using such substances is on the rise.
Jon Royle, chief executive of the Bridge charity, said legal highs and novel psychoactive substances were a “significant emerging trend” that presented new challenges to services such as Bridge.
He said one of the main concerns was that they were extremely difficult to control, in that some of these products were more dangerous than illegal drugs, but by the time legislators had banned one drug another three or four had come onto the market. “The result is that there is a constant supply of potentially dangerous, legal drugs freely available and sold via very professional-looking websites and delivered by post to people’s homes,” he said.
“This is in sharp contrast to the traditional image of people having to go and score their drugs at a seedy backstreet dealer keeping one eye open for the police.
“Whilst this is an issue the UK government is looking at seriously, it seems that for the time being the overseas labs and scientists that produce these substances are one step ahead all the time.
“Although heroin and crack use is steadily declining in society which is of course a welcome development, Bridge remains vigilant to new drug using trends such as legal highs.
“In response to legal highs, Bridge would encourage anyone who has concerns about themselves or a family member to get in touch with us for free confidential advice, support and treatment.”
West Yorkshire Police Drugs Co-ordinator Bryan Dent said that they were always keen to give out the message that these substances, although legal, are not safe to consume.
“The police and our front-line colleagues in other services are regularly called to people who have got into difficulties as a result of taking these substances, which are designed to mimic illegal substances,” Mr Dent said.
“As a result, it has resource implications for police, ambulance, A & E and drug treatment services, not to mention the danger caused to the person who has taken the substance and the distress for family and loved ones. I would warn anyone tempted to take such substances, whilst they may be colourfully and professionally packaged, you will have no idea what the contents are, and the fact that you can purchase them legally does not mean that they are safe.”
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