Angelus Foundation Launches the First 'Parents' Guide to Legal Highs'

LONDON, August 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Drugs charity Angelus tomorrow launches the first ever resource for parents to learn about legal highs, on the same day a Channel 4 documentary, 'Legally High', exposes the high risks young people are taking with these new substances.

The booklet was written in partnership with family charity Adfam and the Club Drug Clinic. It contains detailed information about new psychoactive substances and encourages parents to have conversations with their children about legal highs and how to keep them safe.

A survey carried out by TalktoFrank showed 86% of parents had either poor or no knowledge of legal highs whereas a survey for Mentor showed 56% of 11-15 year olds look to their parents for information on drugs. 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 - by far the highest in Europe.

Tomorrow evening's Channel 4 documentary "takes a trip into the murky world of legal drugs, where underground chemists invent new drugs faster than the government can legislate against them." The programme includes an interview with Angelus advisor, leading toxicologist Dr John Ramsay, who has accumulated 29,000 different drugs in his laboratory.

The founder of Angelus, Maryon Stewart, said, "Every responsible parent would like to speak to their children about legal highs. Just like they would about safe drinking or safe sex but are not able to because they do not have the first clue what legal highs are all about. As far as we know, this is the first specific resource in the world which gives parents the knowledge to have informed conversations to help their children to make better choices and stay safe.

"We already know there is a hidden epidemic out there. Angelus's school surveys show two-thirds of young people think these substances are safe and fun. But once they see our Angelus website film 'Not What it Says on the Tin' then three-quarters feel angry and duped. Parents must wake up to the fact that their children could be playing Russian Roulette with their lives and could come to real harm like my 21-year-old daughter, Hester, did."

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 Parents Handbook was written by Angelus, Adfam and the Club Drug Clinic. Adfam is an organisation which "works to improve the lives of any family member affected by the drug or alcohol use of a loved one." The Club Drug Clinic is an innovative service for adult clubbers and LGBT people who have developed problems with a range of 'club drugs'.

3) Channel 4 film to be broadcast on 8 August at 10 pm (BST) "takes a trip into the murky world of legal drugs, where underground chemists invent new drugs faster than the government can legislate against them."

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/legally-high

4) The UN Office on 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: 08451771070

SOURCE Angelus Foundation



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