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Murder, Rape, Theft
and Abuse. Kids all around the world need our help.
DRUG ABUSE AND CRIME
Drugs related crime is a growing concern to everyday people. In the UK Home Office statistics show that urine tests taken from suspected offenders revealed that 69% of arrestees tested positive for one or more illegal drugs. Of these, 60% acknowledged a link between their drug use and offending behavior. What can we do to stop habitual drug abusers robbing decent hard working people to feed their habit. How do we stop organised crime profiteering on the back of drug addiction. What is being done to get addicts of drugs when its reported illegal substances are readily available everywhere, even in prison.
If a medical remedy is proving ineffective should we legalise drugs the same as alcohol and tobacco so they can be bought over the counter in the High Street. This solution is being openly discussed by everybody including the younger generation who witness first hand the misery of addicted close friends who end up breaking the law to fund their habit. 34.5% of 16-59 year olds have taken drugs in their lifetimes. 2.75 million 16-24 year olds have used drugs in their lifetimes. Additional information from the Home Office statistical bulletin, Drug misuse declared: findings from the 2004/05 British crime survey, England and Wales by Stephen Roe.1.5 million 16-24 year olds have taken drugs in the previous year.
A woman who has spent 12 years helping three daughters fight heroin dependency said when she first discovered their addictions she thought they would die.
Theresa Dodd said she only found people could get off drugs at all when she went, in desperation, to a school talk.
Now the Kent mother-of-four is supporting a Surrey Police campaign to take anti-drugs messages to pupils.
"I thought all heroin addicts died," she said. "I didn't know I needed to get an education. I'd had nothing."
Mrs Dodd's eldest daughter Antonia, 34, educated at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Woldingham, Surrey, has been off heroin now for five years.
Two other daughters, Angelika, 25, and Thomasina, 32, are still fighting their addictions, which she said began when they first started drinking secretly as teenagers before they moved on to illegal substances.
Her youngest, Seraphina, 23, never took drugs at all, she said.
Mrs Dodds, from Tunbridge Wells, a former nurse married to a lawyer, gave her daughters private education and a middle class upbringing in the Home Counties, but still saw them slip into drugs dependency.
Four years ago, she made media appeals to her girls to give up the drugs, after Angelika had been in court for theft and had ended up begging and sleeping rough.
Now she goes into schools to warn teenagers about the situations they may face.
"It is about curiosity and daringness," she said.
"But I think people have to be even more daring, and dare to be boring, and not do the things their friends are doing."
Surrey Police are running drugs bus tours throughout the county this month as part of a Drugs Destroy Communities campaign, which aims to raise awareness of drugs misuse, the issues around it, and the help that is available to users.
Mrs Dodd, a devout Catholic who believes her daughters' addictions could have stemmed from their family background, naivety, rebelliousness, or even questions of faith, said she thought such an education campaign could have helped them.
Now, in her school visits, she tells teenagers: "Have the courage to be the boring one.
"If you feel happy, why would you need to do something to feel different?
"If you alter your mind and need a sense of disorientation, are you prepared to take the risk of it being permanent?"
She added that girls could face a particularly high risk to their safety, with drug use leading to a higher threat of being sexually attacked.
And she said the only one of her daughters to have escaped drug addiction had been the one who made a point of joining a group that helped vulnerable people to have hobbies.
"Young people need to feel useful, important, and attractive," she said.
"Making commitments to join after-school activity groups, dance classes, music classes - these things can make a difference."
Three-quarters of people in the UK say drugs are a problem in their area, according to a BBC survey.
More than half of the 1,190 people surveyed by ICM also said they thought the police were not doing enough to combat the drugs problem.
Police sources told the BBC a drugs "hit" in some parts of the country costs less than a pint of beer.
Ecstasy pills can be bought for as little as £1 - while a gramme of cocaine can cost just £40.
The BBC's survey suggested there were big regional variations in drug use, with 26% in the South East saying they had taken an illegal drug compared with just 6% in Northern Ireland.
Drugs minister Vernon Coaker said drug-related crime had gone down by 12% across the country.
But he added: "In some communities there are still problems and we are determined to tackle that and we won't rest until we have."
He said the government was "determined to bring peace and stability to all of our streets".
On the price of drugs, he said: "The important thing for us is to disrupt the supply and that's why we are working with the serious and organised supply agency to ensure that we tackle the supply of drugs onto our streets.
"They are working hard with neighbourhood policing teams, they are working hard with the new powers we have given them, to tackle that supply."
Some 16% of people questioned in the BBC survey said they had used an illegal drug, with 37% of that number saying they had used cocaine.
Among those in the AB social class - defined as professionals and middle managers - who said they had taken drugs, 26% said they had used cocaine.
But that increased to 46% among members of the C1 social class - defined as office workers and junior managers.
There were also marked differences between the regions, with the Midlands topping the cocaine use league, with 41% of drug users saying they had tried it, followed by the South East on 35%.
Only 20% of 18 to 25-year-olds admitted they had taken illegal drugs, compared with 32% of 25 to 34-year-olds.
Martin Barnes, chief executive of Drugscope, said: "The survey shows that illegal drug use is around three times higher among professional and managerial classes compared with the semi or unskilled.
"The fact that around 1 in 20 adults have ever used cocaine is consistent with the findings from the annual British Crime Survey.
"Despite cocaine's reputation as the drug of choice for the rich and better off, amongst this survey's respondents its use is in fact highest among the middle socio-economic groups."
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