The North East of Scotland, just like the rest of the UK, is experiencing an alarming rise in the use of psychoactive substances.
Whereas in past years the region has been hit with waves of heroin, crack and ecstasy – which are still of course being significantly abused – the newest ‘trend’ involves people using ‘legal highs’.
Misleadingly named, the substances sound harmless. However, though they’re legal to buy, they’re extremely dangerous.
The ultra-potent products, which mimic illegal drugs, aren’t controlled by the Misuse of Drugs or Medicine Acts, meaning they can be easily purchased at ‘head shops’; places that sell psychoactive highs along with drug paraphernalia.
Users are suffering some serious damage, from psychiatric symptoms – including psychosis – to major bladder problems (some medical experts are warning that two thirds of people who take Dissociatives, which replicate ketamine, will end up incontinent).
Most tragically, men and women are dying, with Edinburgh recently reporting that in the space of one year, six people were killed by psychoactive substances in the city.
However, among the disturbing stories and shocking statistics, there is light, there is hope and there is healing for those caught up in the horror of legal highs.
Through the power of the Gospel and a relationship with God, minds can be renewed, hearts can be regenerated and lives can be made whole.
We constantly see ‘lost causes’ – men and women who have been written off by society as no hopers – refreshed and reenergised with purpose, vision and hope for a new future.
The people involved just have to recognise their need and step forward for help.
At Teen Challenge North East Scotland, we are compelled to support people struggling with any kind of addiction, whether they rely on alcohol, gambling, heroin or legal highs.
The person must really want to change though.
If they truly desire to have their life changed, transformation is there for the taking.
So if you need help, come forward and take it.
“…be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12:2