Headlines: November 24th, 2000

New survey material about the level of drugs use among teenagers has been seized by Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator Keith Hellawell as evidence that the current policies are working well.Two-and-a-half years into the Government’s ten year drugs strategy, new information from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) indicates that 85 per cent of teenagers have not tried drugs.

The ONS survey reported that there was no increase on the previous year in the proportion of 11-15-year-olds who had used drugs in the month before the survey, with 7% admitting to having done so.

The survey also revealed that drug use – predominantly cannabis – in this age group might be associated with low self-esteem among pupils who think they are going to have to sit exams they don’t expect to pass. The highest proportions of drug users were among those who said they did not do well at school.

The survey will be used to adjust and improve drugs information to young people, particularly to point out that drugs can harm their chances of succeeding in getting a good education as well as harming them physically.