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Monday, 25 March, 2002, 14:59 GMT
Adverts highlight drug dangers
Pills in hand
A new anti-drugs strategy has been launched
A new television campaign highlighting the dangers of drug abuse has been launched by the Scottish Executive.

The adverts, which form part of the 6.3m Know the Score initiative, mark a change in strategy by ministers.

They have moved away from the "just say no" tactics of the past into a new phase, highlighting the need to know about the effects of drug abuse and addiction.

Campaign logo
The adverts will focus on the effects of drugs
The first advert features a night in the life of a young male on drugs, in which he finds himself increasingly isolated from those around him and unable to communicate.

The adverts publicise a helpline and website and are also being transmitted over the internet and on radio.

Dr Richard Simpson, the deputy justice minister, said: "The reality is that drug misuse can ruin a young person's potential and the enjoyment they can get from life.

"All drugs can be dangerous. It can also badly affect their family and the community in which they live through generating drug-related crime.

'Throwing in the towel'

"We will provide high quality, evidence-based information to help young people make the informed and healthy choice not to take drugs."

The minister said the campaign follows extensive research and contains the "powerful message" that young people on drugs are missing out on some of the best years of their lives.

Conservative justice spokesman James Douglas Hamilton said not enough was being done to discourage youngsters from taking drugs.

"Instead of throwing in the towel and softening its policy towards drug abuse, the executive should have persevered with the message that drug abuse is dangerous and stepped up efforts to overcome the drugs menace," he said.

He criticised the executive for being "short-sighted" and sending out the wrong message to young people.

See also:

19 Mar 02 | Scotland
'Just say no' approach dropped
07 Mar 02 | Scotland
Drugs cash to stay in Scotland
03 Mar 02 | Scotland
Drug policy to be overhauled
10 Oct 01 | Scotland
12m boost for drugs agency
14 May 01 | Scotland
Forces unite in drugs goal
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