Youngsters the Target of Anti-Drugs Advertising
Byline: David Barrett
A pounds 1.5 million advertising campaign aimed at preventing children as young as 11 taking drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine on New Year's Eve was launched yesterday by the Government.
The drive urges millions of youngsters and teenagers to stop and think of the long-term health problems that can be caused by hard drugs.
Officials are targeting the new advice posters at nightspots where young people may be tempted to dabble with drugs over the holiday period.
Latest Government estimates show Class A drugs like heroin, cocaine and ecstasy are used at least once a year by up to 220,000 16 to 19-year-olds in England.
Up to 675,000 youths in the same age group take illegal drugs of any kind, including cannabis. Last year the National Drugs Helpline received 275,000 calls for help and advice about drugs, with the average age of callers being 16. Of the calls, 22,000 were from the West Midlands, of which 40 per cent were from 11-19 year-olds.
Peter Johnson, West Midlands manager for the Drug Prevention Advisory Service, said: ``The pressure on young people in the West Midlands to experiment with drugs is enormous. …