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Radical bid to stop teen drink and drug abuse in Inverness and the Highlands


By Staff Reporter


A RAFT of drastic measures including curfews is being considered in a bid to reduce the harm done to youngsters by drink and drug abuse.

Free leisure cards to get teenagers active are also among the ideas being considered as national figures are expected to show a dramatic rise in the number of drugs deaths in the past year.

Based on a model already being used in Iceland, parents could also be asked to sign a pledge to educate themselves about substance abuse and how to reduce the risks for their youngsters.

Discussion of the new approach came during the Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership’s (HADP) annual conference in Inverness, ahead of the release of new figures expected to show a record high of up to 1200 drugs deaths across Scotland in the past year.

In 2017, the most recent year for which regional figures are available, 24 lives were lost to drugs in the Highlands, up from 15 the year before.

A workshop on the Icelandic Prevention Model, also known as Planet Youth, proved to be among the most popular for delegates at the HADP conference.

The organisation’s co-ordinator, Debbie Stewart, said: “Although different in many ways, Scotland can learn from our Nordic cousins who have successfully reduced drug and alcohol use among young people over a 20-year period.”

Full story in today's Highland News.



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