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  Prince Harry's drug-taking
Updated 14 January 2002, 18.27
Charles and Harry
The monarchy is not exempt from problems of underage binge drinking and illegal drug use.

This activity encourages students to consider why young people take drugs.

Learning objectives / outcomes

  • Some causes of juvenile drug-taking
  • Effects and risks of cannabis smoking
1) Icebreaker
Prince Harry is reported to have smoked cannabis at a party with school friends.This is a common introduction to the drug and a situation many students find themselves in. How much do the class know about cannabis?
  • Use the printable quiz (click top right) the answers are below
  • If students have internet access they can answer the online quiz and check their own answers
    1 - 35%
    2 - B
    3 - true
    4 - your parents
    5 - 14 years
    6 - yes
    7 - hashish
    8 - 1928
    9 - true
    10 - false

2) Main activity
Why do young people take drink and drugs?
A structured brainstorming activity. Introduce the following categories if they don't come up:

  • Curiosity
  • To feel better about themselves*
  • Fitting in (peer pressure)
  • Social confidence (overcoming shyness)*
  • To escape ordinary life*
  • Easy availability
  • Buzz of doing something risky / illegal
  • Secret society (you are special and different)
  • Pleasure
  • To be more like the person you want to be*

    * = most dangerous reasons

Why do some people have problems?
As teenagers many people drink heavily and experiment with drugs. Most do not have a problem, but a lot of people do run into trouble. Some of this is related to the reasons why they drink or take drugs.

Who is most at risk?
Can students identify which reasons for taking drugs are the most likely to cause problems (marked*). People taking drink or drugs for these reasons are most likely to end up 'needing' more.

Students who have used drink or drugs to escape must be particularly careful.

3) Extension activity
Prince Charles sent his son to talk to recovering addicts. Students can read the article 'An addict's tale' and write a short report on how they think that Charles' strategy would help Harry.

4) Plenary
Throughout history people have always taken drugs, and there have always been some problems. Recap why people take drugs.

Teachers' Background

  • 75% of 16 year olds have been 'drunk'
  • 40% have tried or are regular users of cannabis
  • The drug-taking and drinking is understood to have happened over a two-month period last summer, when Prince Harry was 16
  • He reportedly drank at the Rattlebone Inn pub near Highgrove - which has since changed hands - and smoked a joint at one of the frequent after-hours parties he held back at the estate
  • Prince Charles sat down with Harry to discuss the matter, and then asked William to suggest his brother attend Featherstone Lodge Rehabilitation Centre in Peckham, south London. He attended for a couple of hours on a day in late summer and talked to several people in recovery - mostly heroin and cocaine addicts.
  • Robert Lefever, who runs the Promis Recovery Center for chemical dependants says: "Some people have a natural tendency towards addiction - it may even be genetically inherited along with other compulsive behaviours.

    "Those people cannot be just frightened out of something."

  • Cannabis has a mildly sedative effect, which leads to decreased blood pressure, increased appetite, feelings of relaxation, mild intoxication and increased sociability.
  • People who smoke the drug usually feel its effects within minutes and they may last up to three hours.
  • People may become both physically and psychologically dependent on cannabis.
  • Studies also show that regular, heavy use of the drug may cause nerve damage and affect learning.

More InfoBORDER=0
TeachersPrintable quiz
UKHarry admits drug-taking
Find OutGuide to drugs
ChatKids comment on Prince Harry
QuizCannabis quiz online


BBC Links
Radio one essentials website
BBC News An addict's tale


Web Links
The National Drugs Helpline web site
Note: You will leave CBBC. We are not responsible for other websites.



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