Secretary of PAL Larne Beverly Sharples has welcomed the new Psychoactive Substances Act, which prohibits the supply of psychoactive drugs, as a “weapon in the arsenal” for police and anti-drugs groups to tackle “legal highs.”
While she acknowledged that the new legislation is unlikely to eradicate the problem completely, Beverly believes it will improve the situation by making the substances harder to procure.
“They will still be there but it won’t be as easy for people to access them,” Beverly told the Times.
“It depends on how the law is implemented. It needs to tackle people who are dealing it rather than punishing the users. Users won’t have the excuse that it is legal so they won’t get into trouble any more. It will dissuade people who would have went down that road because the drugs were legal.
“Demand for our services is consistently high and people are addicted to these substances so when this law comes in it will take time to see what effect it has.”
Beverly says that PAL can provide help for addiction and mental health issues.
“These things are so potent and you don’t know what’s in them, they mess with your head, hence the name ‘psychoactive,’” she said.
“At PAL Larne, we provide free one-to-one counselling for mental health, self harm, suicide and substance abuse. There is no lower age limit.”
Call PAL Larne on 028 28273335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.