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Tackling legal highs

31st May 2016

Substance abuse is probably not the first thing that springs to mind, but it is an issue which we have been addressing along with the help of charity Evolve.


Evolve have been involved in attending our training centre to inform, raise awareness and improve understanding of the risks associated with legal highs.

The problem with legal highs is not new but it is one that is growing, recent statistics show that in the last ten years there have been 76 deaths involving legal highs in England and Wales. Part of the problem is that until very recently, these substances have been legal and this seems to create a perception amongst some people that their ‘legality’ means they are not dangerous. This is something that we address in training sessions with the help of our partner Evolve.

As a charity, Evolve aims to prevent or reduce such abuse by young people and adults by encouraging a healthy lifestyle, and increasing life skills through the provision of effective Legal Highs/Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA) preventative education.

Evolve deliver sessions as part of some of our training sessions to raise awareness amongst scaffolders of the dangers associated with legal highs. As well as raising awareness of the associated dangers, the sessions also help individuals to understand and potentially recognise the signs of substance abuse in others. This could be invaluable where the abuse of legal highs could be taking place in the workplace.

Following the training attendees have a good understanding of:

  • The issues in relation to young people and Legal Highs/VSA
  • The prevalence of Legal Highs and VSA
  • What types of products are abused
  • Possible reasons for abuse
  • Methods of abuse
  • The effects and consequences of Legal Highs/VSA
  • The signs and symptoms of abuse
  • Knowledge of emergency action
  • Legislation in relation to Legal Highs/VSA
  • Harm minimisation
  • Where to access support

As well as training Evolve offer practical help to those using legal highs and their family and friends.

Evolve operate as a charity and for individuals in need of their help they offer counselling and support free of charge. As a private business Simian provides financial support to Evolve for their services and hopes that the collaboration will help Evolve in working towards the prevention of legal high related deaths, illness,  accidents, crime and the impact such abuse has on the family and community.