Young people ‘see cannabis as safer than alcohol’

“For me, having cannabis in the evening is the equivalent of having a glass of wine on a Friday night. People of my generation see cannabis as safer than drinking and safer than smoking,” says Faye, 22.” The BBC reports

Faye (not her real name) says the message at her school was simply: “Under no circumstances must you do drugs.” Meanwhile, however, pupils were given much more specific information about the dangers of alcoholism and smoking tobacco.

“We were just taught to say, ‘No.’ But young people are going to come into contact with drugs at some point in their lives,” Faye says.

She believes the education system is struggling to keep up with drug trends and that a message of: “Just say no,” does not prepare for youngsters for the realities of a society where drugs are widely available.

Statistics from NHS Digital have recently found secondary school children in England are more likely to have tried drugs than cigarettes.

Analysis of the results showed 24% of the 11- to 15-year-olds interviewed said they had tried recreational drugs at least once in their lives – a nine percentage point rise on the last survey conducted in 2014.

Darren (not his real name), now 24, has been smoking cannabis since he was 13. Darren admits that smoking cannabis may have had a detrimental affect on his exam grades and general achievement.

“I’ve done great. But maybe I could have done better? That’s the conflict I have daily with smoking weed,” he says.

Read more Young people ‘see cannabis as safer than alcohol’

Should the negative effects of taking cannabis be covered more in school? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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