The National Poisons Information Service's annual review, which was published on 30 August, said between April 2012 and March this year, phone calls to experts about 'legal highs' went up 49% (from 116 to 173). The UN Office and Drugs and Crime in July estimated the numbers of young people in UK (aged 15-24) who have taken a legal high as 670,000 - by far the highest in Europe. The Office for National Statistics report on drug-related deaths in England and Wales last week showed legal highs deaths have increased sharply from 29 in 2011 to 52 last year.
The founder of Angelus, Maryon Stewart, said: "The Centre for Social Justice's report highlights yet another highly respected organisation's deep fears over legal highs and the lack any kind of effective Government response. In the last few months, there has been a whole catalogue of reports from the widest range of drug experts all saying that not enough is being done. Yet the Government fails to accept the urgency of the situation and is effectively in a minority of one about the dangers posed by these new drugs. Ministers don't seem to realise their complacency makes them totally isolated from expert opinion."
Notes to Editors:
1) Maryon Stewart lost her daughter, Hester, to GBL in 2009 and established the Angelus Foundation. It is the only drugs charity dedicated to combating legal highs and club drugs and launched a national campaign in October including the website http://www.whynotfindout.org. There is also a site for families http://www.angelusfoundation.com.2) The Office for National Statistics report on drug-related deaths in England and Wales last week showed legal highs deaths have increased sharply from 29 in 2011 to 52 last year. 3) The new report by Centre for Social Justice, 'No Quick Fix' was published on 1 September 2013. http://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/UserStorage/pdf/Pdf%20reports/addict.pdf 4) The UN Office and Drugs and Crime last month estimated the numbers of young people in UK (aged 15-24) who have taken a legal high as 670,000 (or 8.2 percent) - the highest in Europe. If you wish to interview Maryon Stewart, please contact: Aimee Gentry at the Angelus Foundation on: T: +44(0)8451771070 E: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org SOURCE Angelus Foundation