Local authorities are planning on running a survey to find out more about issues across the area relating to ‘legal highs’.
The anonymous survey will be conducted by NHS Tayside on behalf of the Alcohol and Drugs Partnerships (ADP) in Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross to improve understanding of the substances’ use.
Its online questionnaire has been designed specifically to learn more about people’s experiences and views about new psychoactive substances (NPS), often referred to as ‘legal highs’, in a bid to identify the issues, concerns and needs of those who either take the substances themselves or are affected by others’ use.
In Scotland in 2012 there were 47 drug deaths where new psychoactive substances (NPS) or ‘legal highs’ were found to be present and in 32 of these deaths NPS was a potential contributor to death.
In most cases NPS was found in conjunction with other substances but in five cases NPS was the only substance implicated in the death.
Year on year the number of NPS being produced is increasing and in 2013 more than 80 newly created NPS were identified in Europe.
The survey’s results will also help to make improvements to the assistance and support offered by the authorities to people affected by the use of ‘legal highs’.
Dr Emma Fletcher, speciality registrar in public health medicine, said: “The survey is important to gain information on the use of ‘legal highs’ in Tayside and what effects these substances may have on people and their friends and family.
“Whether you have taken them in the past, take them now, have never taken them or know someone who does, we would like to hear from you.
“The survey is completely anonymous and confidential and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.”
The survey can be found online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/legalhighs-tayside