Drug Use and Young People in the Uk

1231 WordsOct 10, 20085 Pages
A central objective of the government’s Updated Drug Strategy 2002 is ‘preventing today 's young people from becoming tomorrow 's problem drug users’ (Home Office, 2002, p. 7). The strategy emphasises the harm drugs can cause to society and stresses young people ‘need good quality drug education, information and advice’ (p. 3). In January 2007 Barnfield Borough Council in North London commissioned the present study as part of its ongoing initiative to improve the standard of drugs education provided to local secondary schoolchildren. The prevalence of drug use among young people The Information Centre for Health & Social Care and the Home Office annually commissions a large-scale survey that includes an assessment of drug use among…show more content…
Another argued for a more peer-led approach and linked this to the results of a study in which young people who had tried drugs perceived educators with drug relevant experience as more credible than ‘authority figures’ (Shiner and Newburn, 1996). The application of motivational interviewing within drugs education has also been suggested (Taylor, 2004), in order to encourage young people to realistically consider the positive and negative aspects of drug taking with a view to tipping the motivational balance away from using (Miller & Rolnick, 1991). Reaching a definition of drugs – the limitations of legislation Under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, controlled substances are classified into three classes by the level of harm they are judged to cause (Home Office, 2002). Recent criticisms of this classification system (see RSA, 2007, for a critique) include its failure to embrace other harmful substances, such as volatile substances, that are available to young people. Therefore the present study moved beyond legislation to adopt the UN Office on Drugs and Crime definition of a drug as ‘any substance people take to change the way they feel, think or behave’ (2002, p. 11). This broader definition permitted the inclusion of volatile substances and amyl nitrate under the ‘drugs’ umbrella. Alcohol and tobacco are treated separately from this definition. References Cohen, S. (1972). Folk Devils
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