Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Inside Afghanistan’s ‘heroin fields’

BBC’s Newsbeat have been out on patrol with soldiers in Afganistan as well as the story on the web there’s also a video.

Even though harvesting opium is illegal in Afghanistan, British troops have nothing to do with policing the fields.

Almost two million Afghans are involved in the poppy trade, and for many it’s the only way they can make money.


Filed under: heroin

Heroin use among young ‘rising’ | South West Wales

BBC NEWS in Wales report:

Heroin is rapidly becoming the drug of choice for young people and the children as young as six have used it, drug workers in south Wales have said.

Information obtained by BBC Wales shows the youngest person arrested in recent year for supplying heroin was aged 10.

“Drug of choice” is strong language, and certainly doesn’t fit with the English statistics that I’ve seen where Class A drug use amongst young people has remained stable for quite a long period. See the chart below for details (click for larger version).

Heroin use, offers and young people by year

Filed under: heroin, Wales, ,

Cannabis a ‘gateway to harder drugs’

The Daily Mail carries a story about new research from America:

Teenage pot smokers are much more likely to go on to use harder drugs, such as heroin, claims a new report.

Researchers insist they now have scientific proof that cannabis works as a “gateway” drug and makes young users more physically vulnerable to heroin addiction later in life. [more]

The research can be read here. The study says:

The periodic exposure to low-dose THC during adolescence did not appear to predispose animals to an increased sensitivity to initiate heroin self-administration. However, THC-pre-exposed subjects continued to shift their heroin intake upward during the acquisition period, whereas control animals maintained stable levels of drug self-administration behavior…

In summary, the current findings provide direct evidence in support of the gateway hypothesis that adolescent cannabis exposure contributes to greater heroin intake in adulthood. It is important to emphasize that our study does not exclude the contribution of other factors such as genetics, environment, and social issues that could influence the direct neurobiological effects of early THC exposure to either enhance or attenuate the progression to adult drug abuse. [more]

Filed under: cannabis, heroin, USA

When heroin was legal

The BBC have an article on the decision 50 years ago to make heroin illegal:

As recently as the 1950s, heroin was a popular medicine prescribed by family doctors. But growing fears about the drug’s addictiveness led to the start of it becoming criminalised, 50 years ago this week.

“The Case for Heroin” – so ran the headline for the Times leader column of Tuesday, 14 June 1955.

In the course of a short, lucid article the newspaper which had long been the mouthpiece of Establishment Britain set out its argument in favour of heroin. [more]

Filed under: heroin

Hertford ‘becoming crack town for kids’

Hertfordshire Mercury News report that:

A DRUGS expert has warned that Hertford is turning into a crack town because of an alarming rise in drug use by youths as young as 14.

Kevin Michael, director of the Chrysalis Drug Project, based in Priory Street, Hertford, has seen a marked increase in young people asking for help to kick their crack and heroin habit.

Meanwhile the Home Office reports:

The figures for 2004/05 showed decreases in the use of crack, heroin and methadone amongst 16 to 24 year olds compared to 2003/04.

The Department of Health in their survey of Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2004 found that only 4% of young people under the age of 16 had taken any Class A drug, and the figures for crack (1%) and heroin (1%) were much lower.

That said, we have recently seen that where young people are taking drugs like heroin they face very real problems seeking support.

Filed under: crack, heroin,

Hidden heroin users

From Drink and Drugs News a briefing on young heroin users (between the ages of 15 and 20):

The sample were initially very naïve and ill-informed about heroin. They did not understand its subtle potency and addictiveness, and had little idea where a heroin career might take them. They claimed to regret having ever taken heroin.

The drug knowledge of this sample was obtained by their own experiences and those in the local heroin networks, far more than from public health or drugs educational sources. They were basically too insecure and immature to visualise the benefits of ‘presenting’ to a treatment agency and simultaneously distrusted adult authority.

Delivering effective drug education to young people who are not regularly attending school and who are as vulnerable as this group is a massive challenge, and one that the Drug Education Forum will be highlighting in our response to the Youth Matters green paper.

Filed under: heroin, illegal drugs

About this blog

This blog tries to pick up relevant media and research stories about drug education. It mainly focuses on information in England as this is the geographical remit for the Drug Education Forum. We welcome comments that are on topic.

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July 2018
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