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Blog: On the Beat

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: January 27, 2014

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THERE can be little doubt that times have been hard, recently. The country has endured a lengthy recession, folk have been made redundant, many have experienced a crisis around personal debt and the young in particular could be forgiven for viewing their futures with a certain amount of doubt – not to say trepidation.

It is not my place to pass judgement on how people manage the stress of modern living but if tempted to deal with things through what is euphemistically referred to as ‘self-medication’ you should know that actually the law is pretty clear.

Many recognise the manifold dangers of taking controlled drugs and are aware of the jeopardy that exists for them in terms of arrest and placing before the criminal justice system for possession and supply.

What about ‘legal highs’ then? Surely they are of no interest to the police? Wrong.

Recent investigations in the UK have confirmed that ‘legal highs’, marketed on the Internet as being ‘not for human consumption’, actually contain illegal drugs – that is, drugs controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Possession of these drugs is an offence and could lead to arrest, prosecution –and a criminal record. Many people are, I imagine, seeking legal ‘highs’ because they want to stay within the law and they may not appreciate that this activity is actually causing them to be in possession of drugs.

And just because a substance is legal to possess, it doesn’t mean that it is safe. Hallucinations, seizures, coma and deaths have occurred when people have consumed so-called ‘legal highs’. Many families are struggling to deal with the impact of these substances on their loved ones.

I do not wish to spread alarm and nor do I intend to imply that there is a particular problem in Ashbourne with these substances – there isn’t.

My aim and that of my colleagues is to help keep you safe and to provide the information about the potential risks that those tempted to experiment may not have considered.

There is a range of people that you can talk to and services that can offer advice and support, locally. Derbyshire Substance Misuse Service: 0300 123 1201, For under 18s: Derbyshire Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service: 01773 522475.

The views are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Derbyshire Constabulary.

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