Richmondshire District Council

Dangers of drug use

Parents and young people are being warned about the dangers of drugs and ‘legal highs’.

In the wake of problems of anti-social behaviour at Richmond Falls last month Richmondshire District Council’s community safety team are urging parents not to ignore the risks associated with drugs, or excuse it as their children ‘having fun’ or ‘experimenting’.

Social media messages are being issued and posters will be displayed at beauty spots blighted by gatherings of young people, such as The Falls.

“Young people try or use drugs for various reasons - fun, curiosity, peer pressure or to cope with difficult situations, worry or low mood - and the likelihood of this is increased if their friends also use them,” said District Council Deputy Leader and spokesperson on Community Safety, Councillor Helen Grant.

“There is no one sign that says your child is taking drugs so we ask parents to be vigilant and know what their children are doing. We are taking steps to educate them and to stop incidents like we experienced at the Falls occurring again.”

All illegal drugs are graded according to the risk they pose and are classified as either class A, B or C drugs. It is a criminal offence to possess, supply to others or manufacture any banned substances.

Psychoactive substances, commonly termed ‘Legal Highs’ are synthetic forms of illegal drugs, manufactured to make the user feel the effects of the real drug and which are highly dangerous. Changes to the law in 2016 made it illegal to supply any ‘Legal High’ for human consumption including selling or giving them to people for free.

There are a number of common signs that parents can be aware of that may indicate drug use, especially changes which are out of character:

There are a variety of services and self-help groups that offer support including:

A to Z of Services