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Tell Your Children They can get Naturally High

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LONDON, November 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Following the Substance Abuse Death report[1] showing an eight-fold increase in deaths from legal highs in 2010 alone, the Angelus Foundation, launches the first national film competition through its Why Not Find Out Campaign for young people to explore ways of getting naturally high on Wednesday 14 November at the Tricycle Cinema in Camden, London.

The Angelus event is supported by Lord Puttnam, the Angelus Ambassador for film, Lord Parry Mitchell, Dr Anthony Seldon, the Co-Founder of the Happiness Campaign, the comedian and celebrity presenter Jeff Leach as well as Simon Berthon and other award winning film producers who will mentor the winners.

There is a rapidly growing number of new drugs which young people may be tempted to experiment with. This national film competition shows that young people can share their favourite ways of releasing natural chemicals which make them naturally high: still having fun, but staying safe.  

Young people will be invited to compete to make films about the best ways of getting naturally high, such as sports and music (film makers can seek funding through o2's Think Big programme (http://www.o2thinkbig.co.uk) which gives grants of £300 to 13-25 year olds for film projects aimed at addressing local issues). The winners will be mentored by award winning film producers including Simon Berthon (who produced Wallis Simpson: The Secret Letters, Nuremburg: Goering's Last Stand and the Channel 4 series Warlords) and the judges of the competition include Lord David Puttnam, the Angelus Ambassador for Film. The winning films will appear on television.  

Almost one-third of young people are searching for ways of getting legally high according to the latest survey commissioned by the Angelus Foundation. However two-thirds of the 16-24 year olds (67%) surveyed admitted not being well informed about the risks associated with taking legal highs[2].  In fact a quarter (26%), wrongly believe that legal highs are safer than illegal drugs. Even more worryingly, the vast majority of parents[3] (86%) also lack the vital knowledge needed to warn their children about the dangers of legal highs.

Substances sold as legal highs are invariably an unknown quantity. They may be a dangerous combination of toxic chemicals which young people take, believing they are safe. There is a wide range of side effects which can include psychosis, depression, panic attacks, heart problems, seizures, coma, loss of use of the bladder and even death and yet there are no warnings about the health hazards.

The Why Not Find Out campaign, supported by advertising agency Leagas Delaney, and a website - http://www.whynotfindout.org - provides impartial information and advice for young people to help them make informed decisions about legal highs.

Maryon Stewart, founder of the Angelus Foundation says,

"Our children don't need to die or be harmed for life by these toxic chemical falsely disguised as legal highs. It's natural for young people to want to have fun but it's important that they stay safe and fully understand just because a substance is legal it doesn't mean it's safe.  Instead, we are providing them with the opportunity of capturing on film the many wholesome ways of getting naturally high including through sport, music, dance, comedy, relationships, friendships and nature and giving them access to mentoring by a panel of award winning film producers.  Mother Nature allows us to feel high naturally by releasing endorphins, but many of us have forgotten to tell this to our children.  Too little emphasis has been placed on releasing these feel good hormones and it's time to explore the best ways of getting naturally high".

The launch of the Naturally High film competition will take place on the 14th November at the Tricycle Cinema in Kilburn, London NW6 at 9pm, in conjunction with the Jewish Film Festival which was named 'Pick of the Week' by Time Out this month.  Tickets for the launch on the 14th November can be obtained by calling the box office on 020 7328 1000 or by going to http://www.tricycle.co.uk

Note to editors

Why Not Find Out is the brainchild of Maryon Stewart, who founded the Angelus Foundation after her daughter, 21 year old medical student Hester, died in 2009 after consuming the then legal GBL. Through dedicated research, education and advocacy, The Angelus Foundation strives to highlight the risks of legal highs and club drugs and encourage young people to make informed, responsible choices and lead safer lives.

For further information on Why Not Find Out or the Angelus Foundation, or to arrange an interview, please contact Ally Gill on 0845 177 1070 or allygill@angelusfoundation.com

UK Jewish Film and the Pears Foundation have been supporting UK filmmakers since the UK Jewish Film Festival's inception in 1996. Every year, two grants of £10,000 are made available for the production of a short film - drama, animation or factual with a Jewish theme of significance to both Jewish and general audiences. The judging panel is drawn from experienced professionals in the British film and TV industry and the scheme is open to all filmmakers resident in the UK. http://www.ukjewishfilm.org

1. National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths report: http://www.sgul.ac.uk/research/projects/icdp/our-work-programmes/pdfs/np-SAD%2012th%20annual%20report%202011.pdf

2. The Angelus Foundation commissioned the independent online research company Research Now who surveyed 1,011 16-24 Brits, between 3rd and 8th October 2012

3. Source: YouGov survey commissioned by Frank 18th - 23rd July 2012

SOURCE Angelus Foundation



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