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Legal high harm should be agency focus

Legal high harm should be agency focus

The Health Promotion Agency should be mandated and resourced to reduce the harm associated with legal highs, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

“The agency, which is behind the successful ‘Ghost Chips’ and ‘No More Beersies For You’ campaigns, told the Health Select Committee today that it does not carry out any work to reduce harm related to psychoactive substances because the law does not allow it to.

“It is specifically mandated to focus on alcohol, tobacco, gambling and a handful other health issues. It says it requires a specific mandate in law to extend its work into psychoactive substances.

“Much of the money required to run the organisation comes from special alcohol and gambling levies.

“The Agency agreed that should it be required to move into work around psychoactive substances it would be helpful to have a similar revenue stream to fund that work.

“I am very interested in this approach and will discuss options with my Labour colleagues. I think it is something the Government should consider as a priority.

“If we are to get the most out of the regulated market the Psychoactive Substances Act established, there must be a well-resourced effort to reduce harm.
“The money to fund this ought to come from the sale of psychoactive products.”

Ends

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