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The Portsmouth Safeguarding Children’s Board (PSCB) exists to make sure that children and young people are kept safe. On these pages is information that we hope you find useful if you are worried about your own or a friend’s safety. We have also added in some tips and information on things young people have told us concerns them. You will also find websites and videos that can help explain things or might be helpful. We want all children and young people in Portsmouth to have happy, safe lives. This can start with looking after yourself first, so read on.

Substance Misuse Harm Reduction

The only way to stay completely safe is not to use substances.

Without testing you cannot tell what is in substances including new psychoactive substances

However if you choose to use something then some general tips to minimise risk would be:

  • Drink half to 1 pint of water an hour – no more
  • Take a break to avoid overheating
  • If someone’s temperature starts to rise, seek help immediately
  • On a come down, drink sports drinks to replace lost salts and minerals
  • Avoid mixing with other substances, particularly alcohol as risk of overdose is higher
  • Take a small dose, give it time to take effect and do not re-dose too quickly – strengths in substances can vary and be much stronger than you may have used previously
  • Try to be in a safe environment with someone who isn’t using
  • Glues and gases – sometimes called volatile substances – can cause instant death
  • Keep your drink with you – they are easily spiked
  • Glues and gases – sometimes called volatile substances – can cause instant death
  • Do not share snorting equipment
  • Rinse nostrils with water after snorting any substance
  • If using try and be in a  safe environment with someone who isn’t using
  • Remember if using something like LSD/Mushrooms, once a trip starts you can’t stop it
  • Some pills sold as ecstasy may contain PMA/PMMA/Pentylone which are is highly toxic, much more so than MDMA, and will increase risk of higher body temperature and fits. You will not be able to tell if substances contain this without getting them tested. It would be best to dispose of these rather than take them

If you or someone you know becomes unwell as a result of something they have taken, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

The first priority of the emergency services will be to make sure you and your friends are safe.

If you have concerns or would like to seek support for substance use please contact Gail Lennan at Portsmouth City Council’s drug and substance misuse service on 023 9268 8450.

Alternatively, you can contact FRANK for advice:

It’s Good To Talk

It may sound simple but if you are worried about anything the best thing you can do is talk to someone you trust. This could be

  • Friend
  • Parent/carer
  • Teacher
  • Youth worker
  • Social worker

They may not always know exactly what to do but if they are an adult they can find out and help you. Just talking to someone can you help you realise whether your worry is little and may just sort it’s self out in time or whether it is a big worry which means you need to do something about it as it is not going to get better until you do. Friends can be useful at helping you decide if your problem is big or small and they can help you tell an adult if you need to.

Safe 4 Me includes information and resources from Hampshire Constabulary to raise awareness of law and consequences to promote safe and healthy choices.


My parents argue and shout all the time

People don’t always get along. In the same way you fall out with your friends, sometimes parents can disagree over things. This sometimes means they argue and shout at each other which can be scary if you see or hear it. Most of the time adults are able to calm down and make friends with each other after an argument. Most adults sort out their differences by talking to each other. If the arguments happen regularly you could try to talk to your parents. If they realise that their arguments are upsetting you then it should help them to stop it. If you can’t talk to your parents or the arguments are violent then you need to talk to an adult you can trust. Click here for more information on Domestic Abuse.

Someone is hurting me

You can be hurt physically when someone injures your body in some way such as hitting you or you can be emotionally hurt when someone calls you names or says things that make you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes in families brothers and sisters can be quite mean to each other but they still shouldn’t physically hurt each other. If you are worried about this talk to your parent or carer. If someone else is hurting you then you need to tell someone you can trust.  If it’s other children hurting you then this could be bullying 

I’m scared when I walk home

It’s quite normal to be worried when walking around on your own especially at night. Lots of young people get concerned about walking past certain areas or groups of other young people. Click here for our top tips on walking home alone.

I’m scared on-line

If something happens on-line that worries you tell an adult immediately or click here to report your concern to CEOP. See Staying Safe On-line.  If it is people you know making nasty comments tell someone you can trust and have a look at our section on bullying for help.

I need to complain about Children’s Social Care

You may be in a children’s home, with foster carers, at supported lodgings, in respite care, helped and supported by social care or a parent, carer or relative.  You have the right to complain about anything that makes you unhappy, upset or angry. It’s ok to complain you, won’t get into any trouble.

That might be:

  • feeling that your race, culture, religion or sexuality is not being respected
  • being moved from where you live without anyone talking to you about it
  • being bullied
  • feeling uncared for
  • being touched in a way that feels wrong
  • having no say in important decisions about your life
  • Social Care’s staff’s attitude or behaviour
  • anything to do with the way Social Care looks after you

Follow the link here for more information.