An interactive online film for teenagers which aims to bust the safety myths around so-called “legal highs” has been launched.
Children as young as 12 years old have been hospitalised after taking new psychoactive substances (NPS), prompting investigations by police into how young people access and take them.
The new film will be available to every secondary school in Scotland, including Clydesdale’s four high schools, in an effort to educate youngsters about the risks associated with taking NPS and alcohol.
Although illegal drug-taking amongst young people in Scotland is at its lowest level in a decade, the film is the latest Choices For Life tool devised by Police Scotland’s Safer Communities team in conjunction with Young Scot and the Scottish Government to educate and inform young people so they can make positive lifestyle choices.
Police Scotland’s national drugs co-ordinator, Detective Inspector Michael Miller, said, “It’s become clear that officers are spending an increasing amount of time dealing with the diverse issues brought on by new psychoactive substances as the trend to take them escalates.
“It horrifies me that young people willingly take a substance without knowing what it contains or the effects it will have. We’re aware that young people as young as 12, 13 and 14 are taking these substances, with some taking unwell and being hospitalised.
“Officers are coming across incidents of anti-social behaviour, street robberies and intravenous drug use on the back of taking NPS, in addition to the significant health risks they pose and their potential to destroy families and friendships.
“There is a myth that ‘legal high’ means that they’re safe to take and that simply couldn’t be further from the truth. Despite being sold over the counter with packaging saying ‘not for human consumption’, there have been occasions where people have become seriously ill. This film aims to separate the fact from the fiction and provide young people with information which helps them make healthy and informed choices.”