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A National Assembly for Wales Health and Social Care Committee report has outlined a number of actions it says are needed to tackle the harms of using new psychoactive substances, or NPS.
The Committee found that NPS, or "legal highs" as they are sometimes called, are commonly marketed as safer and legal alternatives to illegal drugs.
Information provided to the inquiry showed that NPS can be as addictive and dangerous as illegal drugs, with some drug users noting that their side effects can be worse than heroin and cocaine.
60 deaths involving NPS were reported in England and Wales during 2013, 15 per cent higher than the previous year.
The health and social harms caused by NPS use are worrying, and we want to shine a light on the practical steps that need to be taken to allow people to make more informed decisions about using these substances.
We think the UK Government should move as quickly as possible to implement a ban the supply of NPS.
However it's clear from our inquiry that changing the law will not solve the problem altogether - improved substance misuse education in schools, increased public awareness, and better treatment services are just as important for ensuring that the number of NPS users in Wales is reduced.
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A nurse was caught stealing money from sleeping patients in a police "sting" using marked bank notes. Carol Owen, 42, was found with patients' bank notes which police had marked with invisible water at Singleton Hospital, Swansea.
Owen was arrested for theft - and told officers she took the money "because it was there".
Health chiefs at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg worked with South Wales Police to narrow down who was working the shifts when the thefts were happening.
An ABMU spokeswoman said a sting was set up using marked bank notes in a patient's locker to catch the health worker.
A sting operation was then put in place by police using marked cash, and this resulted in a healthcare support worker being arrested. We can only apologise to the victims of these thefts, and the distress this former employee's actions have undoubtedly caused.
Owen, of Swansea, pleaded guilty at Swansea magistrates' court to stealing £35. Owen was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work in the community, and was told to pay £85 in costs and a £60 surcharge.
Over £50 million is to be invested in programmes to tackle drug and alcohol misuse in Wales.Read the full story ›