The Scottish Government estimates that 40-60,000 children may be affected by parental drug misuse. Immediate effects include children being at risk of neglect and of emotional and physical abuse. Long-term risks also include poor physical and mental health.
Growing up in a household where parents are using drugs and alcohol can seriously affect the life chances of the child.
Many young people from all social backgrounds and parts of the country experiment and take drugs including tobacco, alcohol and cannabis for a variety of reasons.
The key factors determining whether people experiment with drugs appear to be early years experiences, family relationships and circumstances, as well as parental attitudes and behaviours.
The Misuse of Drugs Act states a number of offences including: -
Class A, B and C are controlled substances, with Class A considered to be the most harmful and serious.
|Classes||Drugs||Penalties for dealing in drugs||Penalties for possession of drugs|
|Class A||Ecstasy, LSD, heroin, cocaine, crack, magic mushrooms, amphetamines (if prepared for injection)||Up to life in prison or an unlimited fine or both||Up to seven years in prison or an unlimited fine or both|
|Class B||Amphetamines, methylphenidate (Ritalin), pholcodine, cannabis, ketamine||Up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both||Up to five years in prison or an unlimited fine or both|
|Class C||Tranquilisers, some painkillers, gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB)||Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both||Up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine or both|
The Police Service of Scotland has special powers to stop, detain and search people under the
reasonable suspicion that they are in possession of a controlled drug. Scotland's only Drug Court is based in Glasgow. It targets those with serious, long-term drug problems to help them recover from addiction and rebuild their lives.