Thursday, October 13, 2005

Wellington's coroner is highlighting the importance of drug prevention education in schools.

NEWS - NEW ZEALAND

It follows the deaths of six people between the ages of 15 and 27, who inhaled butane gas or solvents. Coroner Gary Evans has made a raft of recommendations calling on the government to set up a national public education campaign and implement a new drug policy. Welltrust executive officer Pauline Gardiner says at the moment there is too much emphasis on harm minimisation.

She says there is a need to ensure that programmes in schools, if any, are of quality and adequately funded. There are calls for waves of advertising targeting drug and solvent abuse. It follows comments from Wellington's Coroner at the inquest into the deaths of six young people who had inhaled solvents.

Director of the Medical Research Institute Dr Richard Beasley says government departments are not treating the issue seriously enough. He says we need an integrated policy across all departments on policing, education, health, child and family welfare and research. He also wants to see an advertising campaign against drugs, similar to those we have seen targeting tobacco and alcohol.