Amy's father backs drugs campaign

Amy Winehouse's father has given his backing to a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the potentially lethal effects of club drugs and legal highs.

Mitch Winehouse helped launch the Angelus Foundation campaign of films, posters, a website and a hard-hitting advertising campaign aimed at children and parents warning of the dangers of the drugs.

"We are not talking about entrenched drug addicts, people who have been on heroin or crack cocaine or even marijuana for 20 or 30 years," Mr Winehouse told a news conference in central London.

"This stuff can get you with one exposure - one exposure can kill you and we have to bring this to the attention of parents and kids in schools. This is about education, this is about giving young people the information to be able to make informed choices," he added.

The late singer's father said the Amy Winehouse Foundation was backing the campaign and believed that drug education in schools should be a priority for the Government.

Maryon Stewart, who founded the Angelus Foundation after her award-winning medical student daughter Hester died at the age of 21 in 2009 after consuming the then legal GBL, said its own research showed large numbers of children admitted to having been offered legal highs.

"Last year there were 49 new substances - this year alone in the first five months of the year there were 28 new substances. Often they are a combination of toxic chemicals and class B drugs," she said.

"We don't really know what is in many of them and the contents vary from region to region and from month to month.

"So we are really on the back foot. Our kids are literally out there playing Russian roulette with their lives, not knowing."