A council has faced heavy criticism after producing a booklet which advises children as young as 13 how to take drugs ‘safely’.
Edinburgh Council and the city’s Drug and Alcohol Project produced the booklet which offers young people advice on how to take drugs like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy.
The Edinburgh booklet immediately came under fire from a Scottish drug enforcement agency, and an anti-drugs charity.
The leaflet, which has been distributed in one Edinburgh school with others expected to follow, includes information on drugs alongside “safety tips” for those who are “determined” to use them.
The booklet claims to present, “non-judgemental, accurate information” about drugs and alcohol.
The guidance for children provides in depth advice on how to smoke cannabis and little detail on the dangerous effects of the drug.
Graeme Pearson MSP, who was Director General of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, said the leaflet was unhelpful.
He said: “The minds of young people are inexperienced and this sort of thing will only help to confirm in their view that taking drugs is an OK pastime.
“I would much prefer it if the authorities tried to get people away from drug abuse, as young people will use any excuse they can to justify their behaviour.”
Drugs destroy people
Agnes Morrison, of anti-drugs charity the Maxie Richards Foundation, said she did not see why “anybody would put out a leaflet telling teenagers the safe way to take drugs”.
She warned that there is “no safe way to take drugs” and said that drugs “destroy people”.
Her comments were personified recently when a father took to Facebook to share the details of his son’s drug death.
Mike Stollings posted images of his son Jeramie dying in hospital, and in the funeral home after overdosing following a period of drug abuse.
The father hopes that his heart-rending portrayal of Jeramie’s death will inform other young people of the dangers of taking drugs.
He urged drug users to “walk away” from the lifestyle and ask for help. His post has been shared by more than 40,000 people.
Responding to a report last month, which examined countries with different drugs laws to the UK, Downing Street said that a radical change in drugs policy would “send an incredibly dangerous message to young people”.
The report had been seized upon by the Liberal Democrats as evidence in favour of decriminalisation.