In 2014, St Petrock’s worked with D&C Police to address the growing concerns around new drugs being sold as ‘legal highs’ or New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) and their impact on vulnerable groups, including people who are homeless and rough sleepers, in particular.
This partnership work resulted in the Police successfully using new anti-social behaviour orders to close down a ‘legal high’ shop in Exeter in November 2014, the first use of these orders, in the country, to deal with this problem.
Following on from this, St Petrock’s undertook research prior to and after the introduction of The Psychoactive Substance Act May 2016 to guage the experience of its homeless clients and impact of the Act. This Act introduced a blanket ban on the production, distribution, sale and supply of ‘legal highs’ intended for human consumption.
We hope that the information collected will help shape an effective response to, and raise awareness of, problematic NPS use, specifically with the homeless population.