The Christian Institute

News Release

Controversial English group runs Scottish drugs helpline

The English group running a new Scottish drugs helpline is the same group which produces highly controversial drugs education packs. In the packs, produced by Liverpool-based Healthwise, school children are told that crack cocaine is not necessarily addictive. Other lessons include role-playing a drug-dealer and telling kids that most drug users come to little harm. The packs are recommended by the Scottish Executive.

The lessons are part of Executive-backed resources recommended for use in the Executive’s official guide for teachers. Last year, there was a national outcry when the same guide recommended highly explicit sex education materials.

It has now been revealed that the drugs education packs recommended in the same controversial list are just as shocking. The two drugs packs are called The Primary School Drugs Pack and Taking Drugs Seriously. They are both produced by Liverpool-based Healthwise – the same organisation that produced the infamous Taking Sex Seriously.

The Primary School Drugs Pack, for children aged 5 to 12, tells teaching staff: “Teachers sometimes feel under a lot of pressure to teach from an ‘anti-drug’ perspective. We suggest that you resist this pressure and are clear about the full range of legal and illegal drugs that are commonly used and the fact that you…are probably drug users yourselves” (p 8)

Taking Drugs Seriously, for children aged 12 to 14, says: “This pack starts from the assumption that drug use is a part of some young people’s lives and will not be prevented by education” (p 4)

Speaking today Christian Institute Deputy Director, Simon Calvert, said: “From these examples it is clear that some people’s idea of drugs education is very different from what most parents want. Most parents tell their children to steer well clear of drugs. They expect schools to tell them the same thing.

“Children must be told about the harmful effects of drugs. They must be protected from inappropriate materials. Fashionable approaches to drugs education being peddled by so-called health education experts have gone too far. There are some things involving children that are just too important to get wrong. That is why we are campaigning for the Executive to revise the list of teachers’ recommended health education materials. If Healthwise are running the Know The Score helpline the Executive should pull the plug.”