The dangers and consequences of psychoactive substances are on the agenda for the next meeting of Merseyside's Police Commissioner's Youth Advisory Group.
Jane Kennedy's youth forum is made up of a diverse mix of more than 50 young people, aged between 16 and 24, from a variety of backgrounds from across the county.
They meet on a bi-monthly basis to discuss subjects which may be of concern to young people across Merseyside and to give the Commissioner an opportunity to listen to the issues which matter most to them.
At this meeting, members will have the opportunity to hear from the charity Evolve, which provides specialist services to increase knowledge and awareness of the potentially devastating consequences of abusing psychoactive substances, often incorrectly called ‘legal highs’.
In May, a landmark law was introduced creating a blanket ban on their use. That means it is now illegal to supply psychoactive substances for human consumption, which includes selling or giving them away for free (even to friends) when they are going to be taken for their psychoactive effects.
In March, the charity received a grant from the Commissioner’s Crime Prevention Fund to carry out its vital work in schools, colleges and youth groups. The funding enables Evolve to deliver preventative sessions across the region warning young people of the dangers of taking these substances, as well as offering group work and one-to-one support.
Jane said: "Too many young people have assumed that because these substances are ‘legal’ that they are safe to consume. That couldn't be further from the truth and sadly in this region we have already seen the devastating consequences of what can happen when young people experiment with these dangerous substances."
At the meeting, the Commissioner will also talk to the young people about her Annual Plan and the work she has done on her priorities over the last year.
Find out more about the work of Evolve here