Recognising the challenge that new psychoactive substances (NPS) present, the UK Government has developed an information pack offering a range of approaches that workers can employ when working with young people who use NPS.
Psychoactive Substances (NPS) Resource pack for informal educators and
practitioners has been produced by the UK’s Home Office in
response to requests from those working directly with young people. They wanted more
information about NPS drugs, and the ways in which others in the field tackle the
challenge of educating young people about them, and what tools they use to do
so. NPS are drugs designed to ‘replicate the effects of illegal substances’ and
are sometimes referred to as legal highs. The introduction of this resource emphasises
that NPS drugs may be advertised as legal but that ‘just because they are
advertised as legal, doesn’t mean they are safe or legal – by definition, this
exposes young people to risk and participation in risky behaviours’.
The resource covers the types of drugs now available in this category,
interventions and approaches and a section on further information and
resources, which also includes case studies. A useful appendix contains
activities, such as quizzes, that can be used effectively with young people to
extend their knowledge of NPS.
Although this resource has been produced for UK youth workers and health
practitioners, it will be a useful guide for anyone working in this field.