Campaign warns of legal high dangers

New flyers targeting both youths and parents are being piloted in the Limavady Neighbourhood Renewal Area to warn of the dangers of so-called Legal Highs.

The pilot scheme is being carried out by Limavady Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Renewal Officer, Michael Morrison from Foyle Drugs and Alcohol Forum and DAISY, DIVERT and HURT.

There are two flyers available, one directed at young people and one directed at parents, providing information on Legal Highs – what they are, what symptoms to look out for and information on services available if you, or someone you know is affected.

The flyers are being piloted in the Limavady Neighbourhood Renewal Area as there are ongoing issues and concerns around Legal Highs and the lack of information available to local people.

The Foyle Drugs and Alcohol Forum have developed an Action Plan for the next twelve months to look at issues in the North West around Drugs and alcohol Forum. They will be working in the Limavady area with local community organisations and representatives to look at what they can do to help tackle the problem and to resolve the lack of services available to the residents in the area.

Elaine Carlin, Chairperson of the Foyle Drug an Alcohol Forum said: “The Foyle Drug and Alcohol Forum are keen to assist with the development of healthy and safe communities. These leaflets were created in partnership with forum members and the young people and parents in the Limavady area.

“We feel that the production and distribution of the legal high leaflets will assist both the parents and young people in the Limavady area by providing them with information on Legal Highs. It is hoped that this increased knowledge will in turn reduce the negative impacts that legal highs are having on this community.”

Speaking at the launch Dr Maura O’Neill, Head of Health Improvement, Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) said: “The WHSCT Health Improvement Department are delighted to support the development of the legal high leaflets for the young people and parents of the Limavady area. It is hoped that the information contained within these leaflets will assist both parents and young people to have a greater understanding and awareness of what legal highs are and their side effects.”

“The leaflet also provides some advice and guidance for parents and young people in terms of protection, assisting someone who may have taken legal highs and a list of useful statutory and community groups. It is hoped that both leaflets will become a valuable resource for the young people and parents in the Limavady area in their response to the issues and dangers associated with taking legal highs,” continued Dr O’Neill.

Ursula Mc Creesh, Neighbourhood Renewal Officer echoed the sentiments of Ms Carlin and Dr O’Neill adding: “I really hope the leaflets make a difference and that both young people and parents look to them for much needed advice, guidance and support about legal highs and the devastating effects these can have on a family, an area and a community.”

Over the next few weeks Mr Morrison and Ms McCreesh will be speaking to local community groups and their participants to hear their views on where they feel the problems are and what they would like to see done to improve the area.