Pupils are shown examples of drugs
Tackling drugs across Telford and Wrekin
School pupils in Telford and Wrekin have been learning about the dangers of drugs and alcohol at special sessions organised to mark Drug Awareness Week.
Most young people will have been offered illegal drugs by the time they are 17 according to Martin Woodhall of the crime reduction charity, NACRO. He has been telling students at Sutherland Secondary School in Trench how to avoid becoming involved in drugs.
He said the main thing was to resist temptation: " It's about being strong and if you don't want to do it, being prepared to say 'no I don't want it'."
Martin Woodhall of NACRO
Mr Woodhall said often it was not the illegal drugs that worried him most: " It's solvents because of the fact that they do really kill people . That can be straight away and they are easily available."
He said the other problem with solvents was that youngsters can conceal their use: "They can go home, go in for their tea. There'll be no smell of alcohol so no-one would notice that they were doing it."
Young people with too much time on their hands and no enough to do were more likely to become involved with drugs.
Mr Woodhall said there should be more for them to do in Telford and Wrekin: " We look to give people things to do in the evenings and weekends. If they are sn active part of things they are less likely to be using illegal drugs."
Some of the youngsters said they had been offered drugs outside school. One said her friend had taken cocaine ' because all her mates were taking it.'
One said : "I don't really class weed as a drug because everyone smokes it, so it's normal."
Mr Woodhall said that was a common problem. Cannabis was seen as a recreational drug. Parents may think the cannabis that is around today is the same at is was in their day, but it is not.
"It's around about five to even as much as 10 times stronger, so we are actually seeing more problems now with cannabis than we were."
The drug awareness roadshow will be visiting other schools in the area and Telford Town Centre.
last updated: 09/06/2009 at 15:25