Executive Turns Drug Fight Away From ‘Just Say No’

Executive Turns Drug Fight Away From ‘Just Say No’
Posted by FoM on March 03, 2002 at 19:15:17 PT
By James Doherty
Source: Scotsman UK
The Scottish executive admitted yesterday that the high-profile war on drugs is over. Instead of advocating the "just say no" message, resources will be pumped into a new front providing information on the risks involved in drug-taking and introducing measures to combat their harmful consequences. The zero-tolerance strategy in Scotland is estimated to have cost around £5 million. 
Dr Richard Simpson, the deputy justice minister, revealed the step-change in drug policy, conceding that the "just say no" campaign and shock tactics had failed to have an impact. As many as 60,000 people have died in Scotland over the past 20 years from drug misuse and there are currently about 56,000 heroin users across the country. Ministers are set to unveil the executive’s new "drug communication strategy" later this month, but a spokesman said dealers and drug users should not think that authorities are "going soft on drugs". Dr Simpson was reported as saying: "The only time you will hear me use terms such as ‘war on drugs’ or ‘just say no’ is to denigrate them." An internal briefing note said the executive should shy away from its "old authoritarian" message, which had "clearly not worked". Research carried out by the executive showed that the number of children being offered drugs demonstrated that the message was no longer relevant. The research also revealed that 74 per cent of the public see drugs as a "very serious problem". Despite the new approach, the executive says there will be "no let-up" in its drug enforcement policy. Dr Simpson, a GP, added: "I’ve never used the term ‘Teach children how to take drugs’, but what I would say is we need to provide them with information. We need to say, ‘We’d rather you didn’t take ecstasy, but if you make that decision, here are the risks.’ We need to give them all the information they need to take responsibility for themselves." Dr Simpson also called for a "more sophisticated" debate on the wider issues. Alistair Ramsay, the director of Scotland Against Drugs, said: "I think there is a recognition that reality has outpaced old-fashioned strategy. The message can no longer come in the form of a sermon accompanied by finger-wagging. There was too much of that in the past and it hasn’t worked." Michael Matheson, the SNP’s shadow deputy justice spokesman, said: "Labour’s drugs policy has had more to do with sounding tough than tackling the drugs problems . The result is that they have been forced to concede that their policies have failed. Scotland needs a coherent approach to the drugs menace." Complete Title: Executive Turns Drugs Fight Away From Costly ‘Just Say No’ Campaign Source: Scotsman (UK) Author: James DohertyPublished: March 4, 2002Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd 2002 Contact: Letters_ts Website: Related Articles:End of 'Just Say No' Drugs War Declare 'War on Drugs' is Over 
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Comment #1 posted by freedom fighter on March 04, 2002 at 02:30:44 PT
Can anybody hear
the crack? Ain't talking about the coke but the sound of dam breaking apart?Man, I may be deaf but I sure can feel the rumbling of the crack of the Wall. Chip away, Chip away.ff
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