Businesses selling so-called legal highs to vulnerable young people should examine their consciences and think about the harm they are doing, a leading homelessness charity has urged.
Framework issued the appeal during a seminar called Youth in Crisis: the challenges of guiding young people towards adulthood, at Mansfield Civic Centre.
The charity, which provides accommodation and support to 16–25 year-olds in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, says the psychoactive substances are having a dangerous and destructive impact on many of the young people it supports.
A Framework survey with young service users under 25 showed 30 per cent of those surveyed took legal highs every day or knew someone who did and 69 per cent had taken legal highs in the last year.
“The charity recognises that shops and online businesses selling legal highs are breaking no laws,” said a spokesman. “But it is urging them to think seriously about the consequences of their actions and the harm they are doing.”
Claire Windebank, Framework’s operations manager for young people, said: “These substances are currently sold legally in some shops and on line under a range of guises such as plant food.”