Legal highs conference to help raise awareness
Event organised by county council will reveal results of UK wide survey
Organised by Buckinghamshire County Council and supported by Public Health England, the event will take place at Kings Church, in Amersham, on Thursday, November 12 from 9am to 4.30pm.
Legal highs, a term used to describe new psychoactive substances (NPS) drugs that mimic illegal substances and are available to buy freely online and in “head” shops, are an increasing problem across the UK, and in Buckinghamshire.
In late 2013, Buckinghamshire County Council commissioned the Centre for Drug Misuse Research in Glasgow to carry out the UK’s first national independent and confidential online survey into people’s use of legal highs.
Concluded in November 2014, this research has increased Bucks County Council’s understanding of the significant change in drug using patterns in Buckinghamshire and across the substance misuse field.
It has also dispelled several myths about legal high use and informed several other strands of work including; a Service User Consultation and the development of a Mephedrone Handbook – a guide for drug workers and other professionals working with users.
Guest speakers at the conference will include amongst others, Professor Neil McKeganey, from Centre for Drug Misuse Research in Glasgow and Linda Stent from Public Health England.
Buckinghamshire County Council’s cabinet member for community engagement and public health Martin Phillips said: “We need a broad and urgent response to legal highs starting with a greater commitment to raising awareness across the county of the risks.
“With the explosion in the number of online retailers and head shops selling the new drugs, the dangers to young people are as great as ever and it is proving more and more difficult for the agencies who treat and support drug users, to regulate their use or respond effectively.
“This conference will give attendees the opportunity to hear about the results from our survey and follow on work from a range of speakers, that will ensure attendees get a local, regional and national picture of NPS use. I urge as many people as possible to attend this event.”
To book tickets visit legalhighs.eventbrite.co. uk. For further information about the survey visit www. mylegalhigh.org. A COMPETITION winner has been crowned as the person with the UK’s savviest lifestyle.
John Sadeghipoor, who grew up in Amersham and attended Amersham School and Chesham High Sixth Form, took part and won £5,000 in the Nectar Savvy Lifestyle competition.
As part of the contest, the 30-year-old had to come up with ideas to do the challenges he was set, while spending the least amount of money he possibly could.
Mr Sadeghipoor said: “It was about how people could live the high life for less. I didn’t think that I would even be shortlisted, let alone win it. I was over the moon, the competition was so strong. I think that saving money is about being creative.”
For one challenge, he impressed the judges by taking his fiancée, Becky on a date that involved a helicopter ride, followed by a dinner of oysters and Prosecco overlooking the London skyline for £99.20.
For the Get the Look style fashion challenge, contestants were tasked with recreating a celebrity look for less, on a budget of just £150. Mr Sadeghipoor decided to emulate David Gandy, getting the celebrity’s look for just £69.87 through his savvy eye. He succeeded in creating the celebrity style by mixing up lower priced fabricswithmoreexpensive pieces, which can be found cheaply in markets such as Brick Lane.
When asked for his top tips to save money while leading the high life, Mr Sadeghipoor said: “Sometimes, it is about using your personality and charm to get the best price. If you do not ask, then you do not get. You need to do a lot of research online as well as interacting with people. There are also some good apps out there and also money saving forums.”
The winner will use the money to take his fiancée Becky on a honeymoon to Australia. They plan to tie the knot at St Mary’s Church in Old Amersham in December, followed by a reception at The Crown Hotel.