More than 5,000 school children across Lincolnshire have been warned about the dangers of legal highs, thanks to a new education programme.
As part of a countywide awareness programme which is being delivered by Young Addaction Lincolnshire, in partnership with Lincs County Council and Lincs Police, the new initiative aims to educate Year 9s and 10s in secondary schools about the dangers of legal highs.
Delivered in 24 schools across the county, 5,200 students have taken part in an interactive session which covers how to keep safe, identify the substances, the effects of legal highs, first aid role plays and a quiz.
Sandy Ford-Pain, trainer at Young Addaction Lincolnshire, said: “We know that young people across the country are taking these substances and that legal highs are not really spoken about at home or at school.”
“Therefore, a key element in our crackdown on legal highs in the county was to deliver a programme to educate against them.”
Supt Mark Housley, county officer for public protection at Lincs County Council, said: “This is a national issue and a challenge for any county, town or city and here in Lincolnshire we are facing up to that.”
“We have fully embraced this by working with the emergency services, health organisations, support groups and schools to discourage the usage of legal highs, and tell us where they are being sold.”
“Lincolnshire is very much leading the way in tackling legal highs and we are working with Public Health England to share our approach with neighbouring authorities.”
A ban on people taking legal highs in Lincoln city centre came into effect on Wednesday 1st April to help tackle anti-social behaviour.
Insp Simon Outen from Lincs Police said: “Officers in West Lindsey are fully aware of new psychoactive substance issues.”
“We are carefully monitoring developments taking place in Lincoln for any impact that may occur in the local area.”
“Supply of such substances via retail outlets is extremely limited in West Lindsey and local proprietors have already been spoken with.”
“Following on from the actions in Lincoln, we will be looking as to what options we can take locally with our partners to address any issues that may arise.”
“We would take this opportunity to remind users that these substances contain all manner of chemicals and they should be aware of the potential damage to their long term health.”
Anyone who has any concerns about legal highs can call West Lindsey District Council on 01427 676676.