Rural youth found to be ignorant about drugs

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Young people in rural areas are living in ignorance about drugs because they are too embarrassed to ask for information, a report published yesterday claims. Many young people feel they are unable to access the drugs information available in their small communities because they would be exposed and stigmatised, according the Home Office Police Research Group.

Police, parents, teachers and teenagers must work together to prevent drug abuse in the countryside, the report's authors claim. The survey focused on a four-week initiative involving police, parents, teachers and young people in the rural Yorkshire area around the small town of Driffield, 20 miles from Hull. Its findings will be contributed to the current national debate on drugs.

Young people in the area said it was impossible to seek confidential information about drugs in the area, and many said they were scared that they would be viewed as addicts simply by asking for advice. Although the report conceded that there was less of a drugs problem in rural areas than in towns, the authors argued that the issue did need to be tackled.