Government slams its drugs advice service

The Government is distancing itself from Connexions, its recently set-up advice service for teenagers, after the service was slammed by pressure groups for sending out a drugs information pack to schools on a leaflet designed like a Rizla packet.

The Department for Education & Skills (DfES) is asking Connexions to withdraw the leaflet. The pack, which was sent out to secondary schools, gives a step-by-step account of how to use cannabis.

A spokeswoman for the DfES says: “This is not Government guidance. It is inappropriate and sends the wrong message. Schools are well aware of our tough stance on drugs. All guidance issued by the department makes it clear that drugs education must not glamorise the use, or downplay the dangers, of drugs.”

Connexions, the Government’s information, advice and guidance service, was set up two years ago to help young people aged between 13 and 19. It recently launched the Connexions Card – a smartcard designed for students as an incentive to continue in education or training. The card allows students to collect reward points for learning, work-based training and voluntary activities. These points can then be exchanged for discounted and free goods and services.

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