The aim of our Lethal Highs campaign is to inform young people, parents and people who work with young people of the changes in the law relating to psychoactive substances, and how it could impact them/their friends/relatives/pupils and to educate people on the consequences of taking these substances.
Psychoactive Substances have similar effects to illegal drugs like cocaine, ecstasy or cannabis. They are also known as club drugs or legal highs.
Under The Psychoactive Substances Act – introduced 26 May 2016 a psychoactive substance is defined as: a drug capable of affecting a person’s mental functioning or emotional state, but is not currently controlled as a class A, B or C drug.
So are things like alcohol and caffeine included under the Psychoactive Substances Act?
There are a number of exemptions to the Act including:
Synthetic cannabinoids (like Spice) are now a Class B drug and illegal to possess, even for personal use
Under the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA) it is illegal to:
This applies to any psychoactive substance, if it is likely to be used for its psychoactive effects, regardless of its potential for harm.
The Psychoactive Substances Act is mainly targeted at manufacturers and retailers of psychoactive substances and aims to disrupt the supply chain and impose significant penalties for those involved in the production and distribution.
However the individual could be affected in a number of ways:
Having a criminal record could impact on your future study, employment and travel plans
The ingredients in legal highs can change and so can the quantities – so you can never know what you are taking or the strength of the product.
Even if you were fine last time, the next time could be a different story
Catch22 – Support services for young people in Hampshire
Parent Support Link – Support services for families
No Limits – Support services for young people and families in Southampton
Are You Sorted? is a confidential, non-judgemental health information and support service for young people under 20 who live in Portsmouth. They can help with issues around things like drugs, alcohol, smoking and sexual health.