Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Teen Drugs Tests Welcomed

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Teen Drugs Tests Welcomed

Article excerpt

A pilot Government scheme to test teenagers in police custody for hard drugs was welcomed today by a leading drugs worker in Middlesbrough.

From Sunday, 14 to 17-year-olds charged with a offences often linked with drugs like burglary, car crime, handling stolen goods, theft and begging will be tested for heroin, crack and cocaine.

Under the drive designed to get drug users into treatment as soon as possible and break the links between drugs and crime, those testing positive for the class A drugs will be referred to youth workers.

The work with teenagers charged with the "trigger offences" is being piloted in Middlesbrough and nine other areas.

Kate Griffiths, Middlesbrough's senior manager for the Lifeline Project, which aims to tell the truth about drugs and seek solutions to drug-related problems, today praised the idea.

She said she hoped the scheme would be helpful to young people as long as it focused on providing services and did not stigmatising people. …

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