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Eight per cent of secondary school kids have tried drugs in Basildon
A SHOCKING eight per cent of secondary school children have tried drugs which have not been prescribed by a doctor.
A new survey has also revealed that four per cent of 12 to 18-year-olds questioned in the investigation in Basildon had tried an illegal drug in the last month.
The results have been condemned by drugs experts and council chiefs who say more has to be done to stop young people experimenting with illegal substances. Malcolm Buckley, the councillor with responsible for regeneration and community safety in Basildon, said the administration is doing all it can to stop young people using drugs.
He said: “The results are worrying and I would like to know how old the young people were who used the illegal drugs. Youngsters often take drugs to try and be rebellious but when they are taking these drugs you don’t often know where they have come from or what they have been mixed with.
“Parents in Basildon need to ensure they are informing their youngsters about the dangers of drugs. It’s not a big or clever thing to do and people should not be tempted to try them.
“Unfortunately getting into a cycle of taking drugs can lead people to criminality and then that can lead to people spending time in prison. We will never eradicate drug use but we need to ensure people are aware of the dangers.”
Open Road, is a drugs charity with a branch in Southview Road, Vange, which helps young people who are addicted to drugs.
A spokesman from the charity added: “The figures for drug and alcohol use in Basildon reported by secondary schools pupils are broadly similar to those in the rest of Essex.
“The statistics reflect national trends showing that the majority of young people are engaged in a safe and responsible attitude towards alcohol and drugs.
“We work with a range of organisations including schools and colleges to support young people with substance misuse issues.
“Depending on what drugs you take there can be a wide range of effects and they can be different for each individual. You can never be certain what you’re taking either.
“Some drugs, like cocaine, are stimulants while others, like cannabis, are depressant. A false sense of confidence, rash decision-making, increased risk taking behaviour are all common.
“Longer term, impotence, high blood pressure, heart failure, chronic sleep problems, extreme mood swings, paranoia, anxiety, depression and serious mental health problems are all associated with substance misuse.”
If you would like to get in touch with Open Road call 0844 499 1323 or log onto www.openroad.org.uk