Professionals from across the board are taking action to raise awareness and tackle the dangers of New Psychoactive Substances, known as ‘legal highs’.
Buy Council hosted an event which was attended by nearly 100 experts from the social care sector, police, schools, One Recovery Bury, Early Break, Forest Bank Prison and others. They spoke about drug trends in the region and how this could impact on services and residents in Bury.
Following the conference, an early warning network has been set up which will allow Bury to respond appropriately to any drug-related intelligence.
Lesley Jones, Bury’s director of public health, said: “We are working to educate people about the effects and consequences of selling or taking NPSs and the related harms. We are working with partners to build up evidence and to establish a co-ordinated multi-agency approach that will work consistently across the whole of Bury.”
The event was hosted in response to the Government’s recent Psychoactive Substances bill which is expected to become law in April 2016. This legislation will make it an offence to produce, supply or offer to supply any psychoactive substance with the exemption of nicotine, alcohol and caffeine. The sale or production of these drugs can cause effects in mood, perception or consciousness and would be illegal, with a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.
Pam Lievesley, service delivery director at One Recovery Bury, said: “The new NPS early warning system will reach across the communities of Bury and we encourage anyone who feels they may be struggling with the negative effects of NPS and other substances, or if they are worried about a friend or family member, to get in contact with One Recovery for support, advice and information.”
One Recovery Bury can be contacted on 0161 253 6488.
Specialist support and services are available in Bury for young people aged under 18 via the Early Break service. Early Break can be contacted on 0161 723 3880 or via Facebook ‘Early Break UK’
Press release issued: 15 February 2016.