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Drugs charity takes radical approach to legal highs


The Angelus Foundation has taken an entirely new and radical approach to drug awareness by disguising a warning note as a high itself.

The campaign, dubbed The Trojan High, was created with Lime Advertising and was launched just after the recent blanket ban of psychoactive substances by the government.

“We have found that traditional ways of warning young people about the dangers of substances, particularly legal highs, were not having the best impact,” said Jeremy Sare from the Angelus Foundation, “people continue to be exposed to these unpredictable substances. We found Lime’s approach to be highly innovative by taking advantage of the reckless way these chemicals have been marketed.”

The messages were disguised in small packets called Ciao!, which were designed to mimic other highs such as black mamba and Gogaine. Whilst marketing on Facebook, online, and leafleting in targeted areas, the campaign promised to ‘open your mind and give clarity like never before’.

After a short period of steadily receiving orders, The Sun, followed by The Metro, believed the campaign to be real. Ciao! subsequently made it into the national press and orders tripled, with the messages being sent out across the country.

“People should realise that the dominance of social media as a communications tool for young people requires new thinking and new techniques,” said Sare, “it is no good putting bland information on a website and expecting it to change behaviour.

 “There is a lot of misinformation about these new substances so it is vital we cut through traditional messaging and get drug safety information out as far as we can.”

After the campaign was revealed, many users took to Facebook to express support for the cause. Max Daly, a journalist specialising in substance abuse, also worked with the team for his article in Vice, which questioned the role of the press when reporting on drugs and illegal substances.

The Angelus Foundation plans to continue spreading their message, encouraging young adults to find out more about the dangers of legal highs and showing that when you open a pack, you never know what you might get.


  • TheDMTmolecule

    Deaths from NPS are the exception, and most users of new drugs won’t be able to relate to ‘shock-horror’ attempts like this to put them off using. The problems faced by users of new drugs have been hugely exacerbated by the Psychoactive Substances Act, which handed over supply of NPS to drug dealers. If we legally regulated traditional drugs like cannabis, magic mushrooms, amphetamine and MDMA, much of the interest in NPS would evaporate. Radical change is needed, not repeating the old mistakes of trying to scare people away from drug use by telling them it might kill them.

  • rockstar

    Nice thinking a little differently. These drugs are awful. Far worse than traditional drugs. The uk government still has cannabis illegal to posses but decriminalised letgal SCRA’S like spice. What message does that send out? The message should be dont touch nps’s. They could kill you. However that line has been well over used to the point the government just sound like the boy who cried wolf. As soon as these awful drugs appeared they should have atleast legalised cannabis and decriminalised all ither drugs possibly legalising and regulating all others. The market would have been non existant.