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ACMD – Drug Education and Prevention for Cocaine

24 Feb 2012

ACMD – Drug Education and Prevention for Cocaine

I hope I’m not giving anything away in telling you that earlier this week I spent a couple of hours with members of the ACMD who are developing a report on cocaine. I was asked in to help them consider what they might say in respect to education and prevention.

As you will appreciate it will be upto the ACMD to decide what they recommend but I thought it would be okay to share with you the notes that I put together from which I spoke and answered questions.

Attitudes to cocaine

Only 2% of 11 ? 15 year olds say it is okay to take cocaine to find out what it is like.

Nine out of ten (93%) of 16 to 19 year olds say it is never okay to take cocaine.


1.2% pupils age 11 ? 15 have ever taken powder cocaine.

3.1% young people between 16 and 19 say…

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23 Feb 2012

Home Affairs Select Committee

Earlier this week Paul Tuohy, Chief Executive of Mentor and Advisory Group Member of the Drug Education Forum, gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee. The committee are carrying out an investigation into the effectiveness of the drug strategy and called Paul and Maryon Stewart, the founder of the Angelus Foundation, to give evidence on drug education and prevention.

Paul used the occasion to raise the uncertainty about the future of the Drug Education Forum. He said:

The government have made it really, really clear they are in favour of really strong good drug education. What I’m wondering is where is the evidence for that; the Drug Education Forum, the main central repository for information in this country about drug education since 1995 is set to close next month through lack of funding.

He went on to argue…

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15 Feb 2012

Fact check: Is there a growth in the acceptability of drunkenness by young people?

The Prime Minister talking about alcohol misuse says:Over the last decade we?ve seen a frightening growth in the number of people ? many under-age ? who think it?s acceptable for people to get drunk in public in ways that wreck lives, spread fear and increase crime.

Unfortunately he doesn’t reference where the draws his data from to support the claim that drunkenness is increasingly acceptable.

But what we do know is that it certainly isn’t true of 11 to 15 year olds.

The latest annual survey of school pupils carried out for the NHS says:

There has been a fall in recent years in the proportion of pupils who think that drinking is acceptable for someone of their age. In 2010, 32% thought it was OK for someone of their age to drink once a week, compared with 46% in 2003. Similarly 11% of pupils thought that it…

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