Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Monday, April 16, 2007

Drug Use Among the Young Caused by Politics & Policy Failure

Drug Use Among the Young Caused by Politics & Policy Failure or another case of anthropomorphic mess, 'its the rules stupid' - mildgreens

Government attempts to persuade thousands of young people to stay away from drugs have failed and done nothing to curb the soaring popularity of illegal substances, a devastating report will warn this week.

UK: Britain's Fight Against Drugs 'A Total Failure' / by Denis Campbell, 15 Apr 2007, Observer

The study, 'An Analysis of UK Drugs Policy', has been written by two internationally respected experts, Professor Peter Reuter of Maryland University in the US and Alex Stevens, senior researcher at the European Institute of Social Services at Kent University.

Their findings are a scathing indictment of decades of education, prevention and awareness-raising campaigns intended to warn youngsters about the
perils of narcotics. The three main strategies into which successive governments have ploughed tens of millions of pounds - mass media campaigns such as 'heroin screws you up' in the 1980s, initiatives in schools aimed at pupils as young as seven and targeting of vulnerable groups - have made little or no difference, it says.

'Prevention is cited as the main policy area aiming to reduce drug initiation and continued use. The policy is predicated on the assumption that prevention efforts reduce drug use, but there is as yet no clear evidence showing that prevention has had this effect in the UK,' the authors conclude.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence recently drew similar conclusions about the usefulness of drugs prevention campaigns.

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