Roy Beggs, Ulster Unionist MLA, who had pressed for new legislation and the closure of shops selling dangerous Psychoactive Substances (so-called legal highs) has welcomed the news that the Psychoactive Substances Act has now received Royal Assent banning the abusive drugs throughout the UK.
Roy Beggs MLA said, “Having lobbied for enhanced legislation, I am pleased that the Psychoactive Substances Act has now received Royal Assent banning the supply of these abusive drugs throughout the UK.
Within the East Antrim area, these psychoactive drugs have caused death and seriously adversely effected the mental health of many who have become addicted to them. I am aware that in Carrickfergus and Larne, some sold all their possessions and others resorted to crime to fund their addiction.”
Until recently manufacturers of Psychoactive substances were able to adjust their chemical make up to dodge specific drug bans. They were often sold under the guise of “plant food” and “bath salts” to circumvent medical and Health and Safety regulations.
Mid and East Antrim council has taken three men to court over a failure to comply with safety regulations at the former hydroponics store, Northern Lights, at Dunluce Street, Larne. (see note 1 below )
Roy Beggs MLA, a former Health Committee member said “The wider ban under the Psychoactive Substances Act will bring to a swift end the cat and mouse game with designer drug manufacturers and with traders in our town centres. However, there is a continuing need for resilience training to help protect our young people against addictive drugs of all types. I would comment the work of PAL (Preventing Addiction Larne) and urge all statutory agencies to work closely with the local community volunteers assisting in this area.