Portsmouth father whose son’s life was ‘destroyed’ by legal highs calls for complete ban on lethal substances

Taxi driver assaulted by youth with knife in Southsea

  • Father says his son lost everything except his house thanks to legal highs addiction
  • Says leaders need to stop stalling and impose local ban and get national legislation imposed
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A FATHER whose son’s life was destroyed after he became hooked on legal highs has backed The News’ campaign to ban the lethal substances.

The Portsmouth resident has written to politicians demanding they do everything they can to get legislation passed that bans their sale, supply and distribution.

Legal highs had a massive impact on my son’s life – it destroyed it. He hasn’t got a job now and he lost his girlfriend.

A Portsmouth father, whose son’s life was destroyed by legal highs

This comes after the city council revealed it would seek to ban the use of legal highs in public – but then pushed back a meeting over the plan until November.

The father – who wishes to remain anonymous – told The News: ‘This campaign is important because the government is not going to bring in new legislation until next April at the earliest; and who knows what shape it will take by then?

‘It has to go through Parliament and we don’t know how different it will be.

‘Legal highs had a massive impact on my son’s life – they destroyed it. He hasn’t got a job now and he lost his girlfriend. He’s still got his house though, which is one thing at least.

‘But whether he can get going again, I don’t know. It’s ruined his life. I would hope that serves as a warning to others.

‘He always said, “what’s wrong with it, why shouldn’t I be able to take what I like?”

But I said “you need to take responsibility, you can’t just go around drunk and on drugs all the time”.

‘We need to act because these substances are not safe – when you see head shops set up near schools, I find that disgusting.’

In a letter to civic leaders including Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond, Fareham MP Suella Fernandes and Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, the father questioned why Scottish trading standards have moved to close head shops but Portsmouth has not taken such action.

He wrote: ‘Portsmouth City Council said it would bring in local legislation over a year ago, and like the government, it is unable to make a decision without hours of consulting and dithering.

‘Vulnerable youngsters are dying from this immoral trade. Is Scotland that much more intelligent than the south in that it sees the dangers and possible solutions that appear to be beyond our politicians?

‘Ireland had the foresight to bring in a total ban five years ago, so one would have thought that this was a good model to follow, at least as a start and it could be changed as the need arose.

‘Any action is better than none, which has been the case for the past five years.’