22nd Oct, 2016

Volunteer launches legal high campaign

Evesham Editorial 15th Aug, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A BADSEY volunteer has launched his own campaign in a bid to warn people about the dangers of synthetic highs.

Ryan Higgs, who does work at Pershore Riverside Youth Centre, was inspired to take action after seeing the negative effect the substances had on a number of his friends.

The 20-year-old also lived in the YMCA in Worcester for two months in October last year and said he saw one of his friends hallucinate after taking the ‘legal highs’.

“People can buy these sorts of drugs from behind the counter in shops in Worcester,” he said.

“I think a lot of young people think that because these substances are known as a ‘legal high’, that they’re perfectly fine to take when they’re actually not.

“For example, there are drugs like Black Mamba, Spice and K2 that replicate the effects of cannabis, but they can be even worse for you and your body than the actual drug.

“The first time I came across legal highs, I was at a party and a friend took some. He started hallucinating and acting really weird and not himself, which was quite scary.”

The substances contain chemicals which produce similar effects to illegal drugs and Ryan is aiming to raise awareness of them by working with Fixers, a charity that supports 16 to 25-year-olds with issues that matter to them.

With the charity, Ryan and his group have made a short film called Blazing, to portray the effects of synthetic highs – both good and bad – which will be shown to school pupils across the county.

“My Fixers project is to try and put people off taking legal highs,” he added. “I think it makes you a bigger person to say no to something than to be peer pressured into something you didn’t want to do in the first place.

“If I’ve changed someone’s mind about taking these sorts of drugs then I’ll be happy with myself that I’ve actually helped someone in some way.”

Fixers has already supported over 13,000 young people across the UK and visit www.fixers.org.uk for more information.