With an average of one new legal high coming out each week and the UK ranking as the largest user of legal highs in the UN, the charity SADAS is opening a drop-in centre for legal high users in Guildford.
The new centre is targeting users of legal highs because many of these people do not feel that they fit in to any of the currently available treatment programs. This can discourage them from getting help.
Providing treatment for people using legal highs is particularly urgent because so little is known about the drugs. Sandra Walter, a spokesperson for SADAS said, "With legal highs that are coming out at the moment, the Royal College of Psychiatrists says it's one new drug a week, they're always being tweaked, they're always being updated. That makes it very difficult to evaluate what the long and short-term effects are."
The fact that these drugs are legal may fool some people into thinking they are safe but in reality, doctors and scientists know next to nothing about the effects these drugs could have on users. In fact, some illegal drugs may be safer than legal highs simply because their effects on the body are understood and the NHS has treatments in place to help users.
Legal highs have become a particular problem in schools, colleges and prisons. These groups have seen higher than average growth in the number of people using legal highs.
With little to no knowledge about the long term effects of legal highs many medical professionals are worried that users could face a host of problems in later life. Users could also suffer if experience withdrawal symptoms coming off of legal highs. Unlike the current crop of illegal drugs, medical professionals do not know what to expect from legal high withdrawals. There is also little to no information on how to treat someone who may have a negative reaction to a legal high.
If you are struggling with legal highs Life Works can help. Please contact us today to speak with our enquiries team about treatment.