NPS trends and the challenges faced
by young people in the community
Rick Bradley
Early Intervention Lead - KCA Young Pers...
Outline of presentation
• Our involvement with new psychoactive substances (NPS)
• Case studies
– Folkestone: ‘mystery’ pi...
KCA Young Persons’ Service
• Commissioned to support YP aged 10 – 17 offering:
– Specialist treatment services
– Early int...
Case studies
Case study: Folkestone
• Two head shops:
– A) old school: no under 18s, dialogue with KCA, share information
– B) less dis...
Case study: Canterbury
• Two head shops:
– A) old school: Kent HQ, dialogue with KCA, shares information
– B) Skunkworks
•...
Case study: Maidstone
• Previous lack of head shops
Case study: Maidstone
• Proliferation of head shops:
– Three established (including Skunkworks) plus ‘pop up’ shops, all i...
Key challenges for YP
• Cutbacks in local services plus limited education in
schools on general substance use:
– Basic inf...
Responding to NPS trends
• Information sharing:
– Trends database established for practitioners
– Information sharing with...
TRUST
EXISTING
KNOWLEDGE
BASE
"It’s great when I can't cope with my situation. It
completely takes me out of my body - 2 or 3 puffs
and I'm tripping …
“...
For further information:
01227 456744
rbradley@kca.org.uk
@RickBrad1ey
ADEPIS - NPS trends and the challenges faced by young people in the community - KCA
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ADEPIS - NPS trends and the challenges faced by young people in the community - KCA

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Rick Bradley is Early Intervention Lead at KCA Young Persons’ Services. This presentation for the ADEPIS seminar on NPS - held on Monday 19th May - is intended to present current trends and the challenges faced by young people in relation to NPS.

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ADEPIS - NPS trends and the challenges faced by young people in the community - KCA

  1. 1. NPS trends and the challenges faced by young people in the community Rick Bradley Early Intervention Lead - KCA Young Persons’ Services
  2. 2. Outline of presentation • Our involvement with new psychoactive substances (NPS) • Case studies – Folkestone: ‘mystery’ pills and powders – Canterbury: synthetic cannabinoids – Maidstone: proliferation of head shops • Key challenges for young people • Responding to NPS trends • Additional contact information
  3. 3. KCA Young Persons’ Service • Commissioned to support YP aged 10 – 17 offering: – Specialist treatment services – Early intervention programmes – Forums and training for professionals – Support for families • Majority of delivery is around alcohol and cannabis • Level of NPS work has grown since 2009 • Initial focus was mainly in relation to pills and powders • Recent work responding to synthetic cannabinoid trends
  4. 4. Case studies
  5. 5. Case study: Folkestone • Two head shops: – A) old school: no under 18s, dialogue with KCA, share information – B) less discerning: serves YP, monitored by police / trading standards • First mention of methylone (‘M1’) in ‘09 – 13/14 year old girls • Mephedrone overtook this in popularity – media profile • Trend towards pills and powders: – Methoxetamine (‘M-Ket’), ‘Crystal’, ‘Danger K’ • Increased use by YP of ‘adult’ substances: – ‘Blues’ (valium and phenazepam), ‘Gaba’ (gabapentin), ‘Trixies’ (trihexyphenidil)
  6. 6. Case study: Canterbury • Two head shops: – A) old school: Kent HQ, dialogue with KCA, shares information – B) Skunkworks • Historic use by YP of cannabis, some hallucinogens – limited NPS reports • Past 6 – 12 months: increase in use, especially ‘legal weed’, but also AMT (‘legal DMT’) and NBOMe (‘legal LSD’) • User reports from smoking blends often negative: – Chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, co-ordination problems, unpleasant visuals, intense anxiety, fear of dying but … they’re cheaper and legal! • Influence of media reports: ‘stronger than cannabis’
  7. 7. Case study: Maidstone • Previous lack of head shops
  8. 8. Case study: Maidstone • Proliferation of head shops: – Three established (including Skunkworks) plus ‘pop up’ shops, all in close proximity of each other within the town centre • Local worker reports a steady increase in reports of use within the past 12 months: – Initially stimulant pills and powders (‘Charly Sheen’) – More recently smoking mixtures are ‘dominating’ sessions with some groups – smell not detected by teachers or parents
  9. 9. Key challenges for YP • Cutbacks in local services plus limited education in schools on general substance use: – Basic information on substances / decision making is lacking – Fewer mentors and positive role models • Naïve use and confusion around terminology: – Ignorance re: dosage; SCRA as 'legal weed', etc. – Some assume NPS industry is well regulated, hence safe • Street purchases of NPS becoming more common: – Even harder to gauge effects and risks, some sold in baggies – Involvement with more experienced user groups • Age range of services hinders young adults: – NPS users don't see themselves as problematic, reluctant to attend service centres
  10. 10. Responding to NPS trends • Information sharing: – Trends database established for practitioners – Information sharing with partner agencies • Promoting awareness to local young people: – Information leaflets developed (harm reduction advice included) – Targeted sessions, outreach, festivals – Responding to local trends • Links with head shops: – Exchange of information: trends, negative reports – Information leaflets given out and most importantly …
  11. 11. TRUST EXISTING KNOWLEDGE BASE
  12. 12. "It’s great when I can't cope with my situation. It completely takes me out of my body - 2 or 3 puffs and I'm tripping … “I feel safe when using ‘Zebra’ - no one can touch me” (Quotations from a service user)
  13. 13. For further information: 01227 456744 rbradley@kca.org.uk @RickBrad1ey

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