Legal highs ruining my kids – mum
A mother says she fears losing her children to a cocktail of legal highs.
The teenagers, 14 and 15, have been taking the substances at least once a week since August.
Their 40- year- old mother Edwina and step-father Paul, 62, believe their family is being ripped apart as the pair of Ashford school pupils refuse to stop taking them.
Edwina said: “It’s been devastating for me… to actually watch my children finding these things, taking them and consequently not only worrying about the physical effect it’s having on their bodies but watching them mentally and emotionally change.
“Every time my children walk out the door I don’t know if they’re going to come home alive. It’s been so awful I just can’t explain my emotions and feelings.
“I’m doing this interview
Legal highs are openly on sale in Kent. But at least one youngster from the county has lost his life after taking the over-the-counter substances and another youngster suffered a heart attack.
investigates at the start of our campaign
because I actually want to say to other parents ‘don’t hide, come forward and tell everybody what is happening to our children’. If we all stand together maybe we can change this.”
The mother-of-four believes her children’s personalities have changed since taking what are known as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS).
She said: “They’re aggressive, they have outbursts of anger, then the next minute they’re laughing and joking.
“They think it’s all funny and we’re all upset because we’ve just had to go through the trauma. Their emotions are way above and beyond normal teenage emotions.”
The teenagers get the substances from a number of suppliers in Ashford while going to and from school.
They often get their fixes from so-called head shops – stores that sell drug paraphernalia among other things.
It’s something step-father Paul is extremely concerned about.
He said: “I’d like to see all the legal highs shops shut down.
“The police haven’t got the powers that they need. Trading standards are the only ones that can shut these shops down.”
The substances are currently legal, meaning the authorities are limited in what they can do.
Police cannot prosecute and trading standards do not have the power to seize the items.
Paul said: “They’ve come home and because we’ve had talks before about them taking drugs, they’ve said you don’t have to worry any more because we’re taking something that’s legal. They don’t realise what they’re taking, they don’t
wE NEED TO MAKE yOUNGSTERS AwARE THEy ARE DICING wITH DEATH
care what’s happening to themselves.”
Edwina added: “Their excuse is ‘well it’s fine, they’re legal, we can take them as nobody’s going to do anything about it’.
“But I’m very concerned because we don’t know what, even in this short six months, what has happened to their brains. It could be irreversible.”
The government has launched a review into legal highs, a move the couple feel needs to deliver results.
Edwina said: “I would like to make a plea to tvhe government to please change their stance on drugs – not just legal highs but all drugs, because they’re accessible to children younger and younger and it’s just not appropriate.
“They need to do something.”
Edwina and Paul spoke about their fears over legal highs