On 16 October 2012, Angelus, launched the Find Out (http://www.whynotfindout.org/ campaign which is the first national campaign to inform and educate young people and parents about the dangers of taking ‘legal highs’ and other harmful social substances. Whynotfindout is the sister site for Angelusfoundoution.com which caters more for parents and othr family members.
The Find Out campaign consists of an advertising campaign designed by advertising agency, Leagas Delaney and a supporting website – www.whynotfindout.org – which provides impartial information and advice for young people to help them make informed decisions about legal highs. The advertising campaign includes national posters, print and online advertising as well as digital posters at key mainline train stations. The website includes information from leading experts on legal highs as well as club drugs.
The leading European Drug Agency (EMCDDA) announced in April 2014 there were 81 new substance identified across EU . The harms and dangers of these new drugs are almost completely unknown and some are potentially lethal. Unfortunately, it is not possible to give a precise number of deaths from legal highs but many reports suggest it is a rapidly growing number.
Substances sold as ‘legal highs’ are invariably an unknown quantity. They may be a dangerous combination of toxic chemicals which young people take, believing they are relatively safe. Angelus’s Findout campaign makes clear these drugs and are certainly not safe – there is also a wide range of potential side effects can include psychosis, depression, panic attacks, irregular or racing heart and severe overheating .
In the last few years, several ‘legal highs’ such as GBL and Mephedrone (and club drugs like Ketamine) have been classified as illegal but many uncontrolled and unregulated legal highs such as synthetic cannabis products and MDAI are still widely available to buy over the internet. These ‘legal highs’ are actively marketed at young people, rarely with warnings about the potential health hazards. The Findout campaign has been highlighting the dangers of these unknown substances.
Maryon Stewart, Founder of the Angelus Foundation said, “There has been an unprecedented and continual influx of new ‘legal highs’ in the country. There is a huge knowledge gap in their effects and the dangers they present. Legal does not mean safe. Angelus is devoted to raising awareness of the dangers of legal highs and club drugs and providing information and impartial advice to both young people and parents alike. Through the Find Out campaign, we can give young people the facts they need to make an informed, and wiser, decision and also give parents the tools to start these conversations with their children.”