Hospital admissions due to people taking legal highs substances have increased tenfold in Bradford, according to the city's hospital trust.
A ban on all new synthetic drugs was announced in the Queen's Speech yesterday with producers and suppliers of legal highs now facing up to seven years in prison. But the government crackdown doesn't go far enough according to a drugs charity in Bradford. They say an increasing number of young people had contacted them with problems.
Jon Royle is the chief executive of the Bridge Project in the city:
Legal highs can carry serious health risks. The chemicals they contain have in most cases never been used in drugs for human consumption before. This means they haven’t been tested to show that they are safe. We conservatively estimate the department has seen a 10-fold increase in the numbers coming into A&E with complications after taking these over-the-counter substances. Patients affected range from those in their early teens, all the way up to people in their mid-thirties. They present with a whole range of conditions, from anxiety and depression at one end of the spectrum to suicidal thoughts, a drop in consciousness and cognitive abilities, cardiovascular instability and neurological dysfunction. Some are even violent and aggressive. The majority of patients require admission until their condition is stabilised.
The boss of an anti-bullying campaign says anyone affected by bullying should get evidence and report it.
Tesse Ojo urged parents to resist the urge to confront bullies, as this could inflame the situation, but instead speak to the target of the bullying to find out how they want it tackled.
She spoke about the case of Matthew Jones, who took his own life after being bullied, and said it is something the Diana Award sees too often.
Tesse spoke to John Shires and Christine Talbot:
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