Drug services have to be quick on their feet to keep up with a growing array of new substances being used by young people. Lena Corner visited one project which is managing to keep up to speed.
The government’s ban on GBL, BZP and Spice may have come into force last month but still the market in legal highs or ‘new drugs’ continues to expand. Just as manufacturers manage to stay one step ahead of legislation by creating new drugs which sidestep it, so the number of reports of problematic use, and even fatalities, continue to rise.
But concern is now growing that treatment services, most of whom must focus on dealing with crime-linked drugs such crack cocaine and heroin, have neither the funds nor the know how to deal with legal highs. As a result, a new generation of drug user is potentially falling through the net. There is one agency, however, the KCA Young Person’s
Early Intervention Team based in Kent, which has been swift to acknowledge and research the issue of these drugs.