Two people who have directly felt the consequences of
addiction to synthetic cannabinoids, or legal highs, will
speak at a free public information session in Queenstown next
The forum, organised by Supporting Families Queenstown field
officer Jo Moore, will include presentations by the police,
Public Health South, a representative from Lakes District
Hospital, Adventure Development staff, a mother who will
speak about helping her child struggling with addiction, and
another person who is fighting addiction at present.
Ms Moore said she had attended a similar session recently,
and when she returned to Queenstown and started talking about
it, many people asked if one could be run here.
''In terms of the long-term consequences, there is very
little we know about these products. There has been quite a
bit happening lately around law changes ... with the law
changes people are really interested to know what's going to
''The talk is aimed, really broadly, at the whole community -
agencies, parents of teenagers, employers.''
For employers, the use of legal highs was something they
needed to consider in terms of health and safety, policies
and procedures within the workplace, she said.
''Often, organisations have policies around appropriate
alcohol use and working machinery, but they need to be
considering policies around this as well.''
The session would cover an explanation of legal highs,
present and proposed legislation, the social and health
consequences of its use and information about addiction, Ms
The latter would be discussed by representatives from
Adventure Development, who dealt with alcohol and drug
addictions in youth.
''They're going to speak about the signs that somebody is
using [synthetic cannabis], why they [want] to have a go at
these products and what the chemical process is in the brain
around addiction and why people become addicted.
''Someone from Lakes District Hospital will talk about what
they see when people present at the hospital and the police
will talk about what they're seeing on the streets.''
The information session will be held from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on
Monday at the Queenstown Events Centre mezzanine function
Anyone wanting more information, can email Ms Moore on
call 0800 724-496.