What do young people think about soft drugs

SUZE BORTON gauges young people’s attitudes to Recreational drugs. How much do they know about the Drugs scene, and do they get the information they need?

I think the way Kate Moss has been victimised in the media would make young people dubious about trying drugs. I do think everyone goes through a drugs phase in their teens though. People hear rumours of the thrills of “tripping out” and “getting high”. They also make the stupid assumption that they can never get addicted! Peer pressure is very important. At every party you are offered some kind of drug – from weed to coke.  If you don’t take part you can be seen as inferior and victimised. And most people do not feel threatened by legal action.
Sarah is 18

The media don’t glamorise drugs – their coverage wouldn’t influence me to take them. For example, when Daniella Westbrook’s nose fell out, that put off loads of people. Most young people do cannabis because they think it’s soft. They don’t realise how much damage it can do. But in the long term, it can do lots of damage mentally.
Annette is 15

Knowing about the laws on drugs isn’t going to stop anyone taking them. If they want to take them, they will, and there aren’t enough police to do anything about it. Young people are well educated about the issue – we know if we take drugs we’ll get in trouble, and that we shouldn’t be taking them. But sometimes, if there’s a  problem or life is tough, they might turn to drugs.
Jason is 16

The more accessible drugs are, the more they seem alright because you see more people using them. Cannabis is obviously worse than just getting drunk or smoking cigarettes because it’s illegal – and it’s got to be illegal for some reason. Also if people get used to soft drugs they might want something stronger. I don’t think using drugs is a phase, although in your teenage years you might be more wild and have fewer responsibilities.
John is 18

It’s the responsibility of the education system, in college or school, to teach kids about the health risks involved with using drugs, although parents should play their part as well.  But I don’t know if having knowledge of the health risks puts people off all the time. If someone is into sport, for example, they’d think more seriously about not doing it. Kids nowadays should really know what drugs can do, in both the short and long term.
David is 16

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