Users of ‘legal highs’ are being warned they are playing Russian roulette with their lives in a new social media campaign.
The awareness drive targets people between the ages of 14 and 35 and asks the question ‘Why gamble with your life?’.
Social media, smart phone apps and websites are being used to promote safety messages and educate people about the dangers.
Awareness sessions have been held at West Herts College and the University of Hertfordshire.
Programme officer for drugs at Herts County Council Terrie Baverstock said: “We cannot ignore the fact that these substances are in Hertfordshire. Drug and substance misuse, sadly, have no social boundaries and educating people of the dangers plays an integral part to prevention.
“We have had a few cases in Hertfordshire where people have taken these and have ended up with life altering medical conditions as a result of organ failure, or have ended up with a criminal record for the behaviour they then displayed after taking these mind altering drugs.”
We have had a few cases in Hertfordshire where people have taken these and have ended up with life altering medical conditions as a result of organ failure, or have ended up with a criminal record for the behaviour they then displayed after taking these mind altering drugs.Terrie Baverstock, Herts County Council programme officer for drugs.
The term ‘legal high’ is misleading as many of these substances contain illegal drugs, and often contain chemicals that are dangerous for human use.
Chief Insp Ken Townsend said: “We do not know the exact contents of these substances but what we do know is that they can cause life changing health conditions an, in some cases, they can be fatal.”
A crackdown on ‘legal highs’ is due to be introduced after the issue was addressed in the Queen’s speech when new legislation was promised.
Crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “I fully support this campaign which raises awareness and educates people of the dangers these drugs pose.”