Once a child is born, parents will worry about them for the rest of their lives. When the kids are young, parents worry when they get ill or if they fall and hurt themselves. As they grow up, many parents worry when the children are outside playing or when they begin to go out into the world by themselves. However, once the kids enter high school and become teenagers, the worries often intensify.
Parents of teenagers worry that their child may fall in with a bad crowd and try alcohol or drugs. These concerns have been around for many years but, these days, parents have the added worry that their child may try legal highs.
Legal highs, also known as psychoactive substances, are made to act in a similar way to illegal drugs such as cannabis or cocaine. The problem with legal highs is that they do not come under the Misuse of Drugs Act and are, therefore, legal to buy and possess. Nevertheless, the danger of legal highs is that, although they are legal, they are not safe for human consumption and have been linked to the deaths of many people throughout the UK.
Adele Wallace is a parent who recently lost her son Adam to legal highs, and she has spoken of the pain she feels at having not been able to help him as he lay dying in a housing estate in April 2015. Adam had been struggling with an addiction to legal highs and died after taking them at a house party. He was found lying in a housing estate and died later in a Belfast hospital.
Adele is now supporting a campaign by the charity Fixers, which aims to highlight the dangers of legal highs. Adele says, “As a parent, it’s very upsetting to think of Adam dying the way he did. I wonder whether he was frightened, scared, fighting for breath and struggling as he realised he was dying. It’s so distressing to think he was alone with no-one to comfort him in his final moments.”
She is now struggling to cope with the memory of her child’s body lying in the morgue and says she gets flashbacks of this traumatic moment. She knows that other parents are dealing with the same things as her now.
The UK Government recently announced plans to implement a ban on all legal highs, and Adele says that she supports this ban but is worried that teenagers will still find a way to get their hands on the substances.
These substances are currently sold online and on the high street in headshops. The proposed ban would see these shops shut down or unable to sell the products. Those found manufacturing or selling them will be prosecuted. Adele is worried that many children just do not realise the dangers of legal highs. She said that, while the ban will send the right message, more needs to be done to highlight the risks of taking legal highs.
Adele’s son Adam began smoking cannabis at the age of fifteen, and his mum believes that it is this that led him to start experimenting with legal highs. He soon began taking them more often, despite Adele’s protestations. She knew he had an addiction but was powerless to do anything about it.
Adele finally persuaded Adam to get help, and he had decided to do something about his addiction weeks before he died.
Unfortunately, for Adam, his story ended in tragedy, but for others in a similar position, it is not too late to get help. Rehab Helper can provide advice and information to those with addictions. We are a free service helping thousands of people suffering from addiction. Call today for more information.