A new campaign has been launched to warn teenagers of the dangers of using New Psychoactive Substances, with a message that ‘Just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s safe.’
New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) are drugs made to copy the effects of illegal drugs.
To support their new Key Stage 3 lesson ‘New and Nasty’, which focuses on informing pupils about the harmful effects of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), the All-Wales School Liaison Core Programme are launching a series of posters highlighting the dangers of using New Psychoactive Substances.
Between the 30th November and the 4th December, six new posters will be released on the SchoolBeat social media accounts to raise awareness of the dangers of New Psychoactive Substances.
Some of the messages include:
- You can't be sure if it's legal – it may contain illegal drugs
- You don't know what you are taking
- You have no idea what the effects will be
- You have no idea what is in a New Psychoactive Substance
- You can't be certain it's safe to take You don't know how your body will react to a New Psychoactive Substance
Wales’ Deputy Health Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “I’m very pleased to support this new awareness campaign. We take the issue of people taking new psychoactive substances – so-called legal highs – very seriously. We’re supporting a range of initiatives to raise awareness, including DAN 24/7, our bilingual substance misuse helpline.
“We have ensured that the All-Wales Schools Liaison Core Programme, which operates in all primary and secondary schools across Wales, is regularly updated to include specific lessons about new psychoactive substances because of their potential impact on children and young people.
“I have been supportive of the UK Government’s proposal to introduce a blanket ban on new psychoactive substances. However, banning these substances will not work in isolation - we have introduced a number of actions to educate, raise awareness and improve our ability to respond to the emergence of new psychoactive substances.”
The new posters are supported and funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston.
Mr Johnston said: “I hope these posters will play an important role in raising awareness about the dangers of substance abuse amongst school children and young people. We want fewer victims of crime and to protect people from serious harm and this is why I supported and provided funding for this project.
New Psychoactive Substances pose a serious threat to the health and safety of people in our communities. We want to send out the clearest possible message that these substances can be dangerous to people’s health - even fatal. These posters aim to help young people make the right choices if and when the time comes they are offered these substances.”
National Coordinator for the All-Wales School Liaison Core Programme, Faith McCready said: “We hope the All-Wales School Liaison Core Programme New Psychoactive Substances campaign will raise awareness of the risks associated with NPS usage. Each poster presents a key message in an innovative way and has been designed to make young people think about the possible consequences of taking these unregulated substances. We feel it is vital that young people are given accurate information so they can make informed choices.”
During the week, School Community Police Officers will be delivering the lesson ‘New and Nasty’ to students across Wales to raise awareness of New Psychoactive Substances and the awareness campaign.
Show your support for the campaign by downloading our campaign board and taking a picture of yourself using the hashtags #NPSAware and #SSNHysbys and posting it on Twitter.
For more information, contact Jodie Humphries; Jodie@schoolbeat.org or 07858018139.
Download the full set (of posters) from www.schoolbeat.org/npsaware
New Psychoactive Substances
- New psychoactive substances (NPS) are drugs that have been synthesised to mimic the effects of illegal drugs. These substances have been designed to evade drug laws, are widely available via the high street and the internet, and have the potential to pose serious risks to public health and safety.
- NPS are sold as “legal highs”, often under a variety of brand names, at a relatively low cost to the purchaser when compared to illegal drugs.
- There is no way of telling how NPS will affect you. They can stop you sleeping, leave you exhausted and depressed later on. It is known that NPS can reduce inhibitions, cause drowsiness or anxiety attacks, paranoia or even psychotic illness. More drastically, they can cause comas, seizures and death.
- New Psychoactive Substances can come in the tablet, powder or liquid form.
All Wales School Liaison Core Programme
- The All Wales School Liaison Core Programme (AWSLCP) is a unique crime prevention programme jointly funded by the Welsh Government and the four Welsh Police Forces that has been in existence since 2004.
- School Community Police Officers (SCPOs) deliver lessons to five to sixteen year olds across Wales.
- In the school year 2014/15, our School Community Police Officers achieved 100% access to schools across Wales.