Conference to tackle growing problem of legal highs to be held in Bucks

  |  Published: Nov 2nd 2015
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A conference aimed at improving people's knowledge and understanding about legal highs will be held in Buckinghamshire in November.

Organised by Buckinghamshire County Council and supported by Public Health England, the event will take place at Kings Church, Amersham, HP6 6LX on Thursday, November 12 from 9am to 4.30pm. To book tickets visit  https://legalhighs.eventbrite.co.uk

Legal highs, a term used to describe new psychoactive substances (NPS) drugs that mimic illegal substances and are available to buy freely online and in “head” shops, are an increasing problem across the UK, and in Buckinghamshire.

In late 2013, Buckinghamshire County Council commissioned the Centre for Drug Misuse Research in Glasgow to carry out the UK's first national independent and confidential online survey into people's use of legal highs.

Concluded in November 2014, this research has increased the County Council's understanding of the significant change in drug using patterns in Buckinghamshire and across the substance misuse field.

It has also dispelled several myths about legal high use and informed several other strands of work including; a Service User Consultation and the development of a Mephedrone Handbook -  a guide for drug workers and other professionals working with users.

Guest speakers at the conference will include amongst others, Professor Neil McKeganey, from Centre for Drug Misuse Research in Glasgow and Linda Stent from Public Health England.

Martin Phillips, Buckinghamshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health said: "We need a broad and urgent response to legal highs starting with a greater commitment to raising awareness across the county of the risks.

"With the explosion in the number of online retailers and head shops selling the new drugs, the dangers to young people are as great as ever and it is proving more and more difficult for the agencies who treat and support drug users, to regulate their use or respond effectively.

"This conference will give attendees the opportunity to hear about the results from our survey and follow on work from a range of speakers, that will ensure attendees get a local, regional and national picture of NPS use. I urge as many people as possible to attend this event."

For further information about the survey visit www.mylegalhigh.org/

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