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LOCAL ACTION FIGHTS THE DRUG MENACE

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Local action is helping communities fight the drug menace home office minister Tom Sackville said on the publicatio...
Local action is helping communities fight the drug menace home office minister Tom Sackville said on the publication of the Drugs Prevention Initiative sixth annual progress report.

The report describes the extensive programme of community-based drugs prevention work which the DPI has developed during the first year of its expanded operation in 12 areas of England.

The key achievements of the year include:

-- 12 new larger drugs prevention teams set up covering more communities in England

-- over 70 large scale projects, developed with partners in the community, contributing to the DPI's national teams working closely with Drug Action Teams and Drugs Reference Groups to help develop local strategies

Mr Sackville said: 'This report highlights how much can be done to stimulate local projects designed to discourage young people from involvement with drugs and make an important contribution to the government's strategy of 'Tackling Drugs Together'.

'During the last few months I have visited all the twelve drug prevention teams around the country and seen some of the projects they are backing. They are very diverse, but all are well-received in their areas, and many will provide models for the rest of country.'

The programme of work which the drugs prevention teams are now undertaking include projects such as:

-- Parents for Prevention in Birmingham and the Black Country which provides a confidential helpline for parents, and volunteers who are on hand to discuss the problems relating to their children's drug use

-- In the East Midlands the Saffron Lane Young People's Project aims to use the energy and ideas of young people to produce a network of advice and information on drugs

-- In North East London the Hackney Drug Education Team has been formed of drug workers, the police and school nurses to work alongside class teachers to provide drug education to children in over 40 of the borough's primary and secondary schools

-- 'Get the Buzz on the Bus' comprises five separate mobile youth information and advice projects operating in rural and outer suburban parts of East and West Sussex providing drugs information and advice

-- Drugs Interventions in the Criminal Justice System targets adult offenders in South London who want help in tackling their drug misuse. When fully operational a team of workers will be on call to police stations, courts, probation offices and prisons

-- N.E. Choices, run in Northumbria provides 13 year olds with information about drugs. The project includes theatre workshops in schools to explore with children the risks and dilemmas of drugs. It has been supported by the local football team, Newcastle United and its manager Kevin Keegan

-- The Asian Language Project in Northumbria is the first project to produce drug information videos in Urdu and Bengali.

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