Twin Hazards of Binge Drinking and Cannabis 

Twin Hazards of Binge Drinking and Cannabis 
Posted by FoM on January 13, 2002 at 20:46:29 PT
By Steven Morris
Source: Guardian Unlimited
The revelations about Prince Harry expose a problem which is blighting society, from the well-heeled children of the upper class through to youngsters who live on the most deprived estates. Attention at the weekend was focused mainly on the prince's cannabis consumption but experts said the affair highlighted the twin problems of drug and alcohol abuse. By the time they reach their 16th birthday the vast majority of youngsters have experimented with drink and three-quarters have been drunk. 
Binge drinking is on the increase with campaigners often blaming drinks manufacturers for targeting youngsters. As many as 40% of 16-year-olds have tried or are regular users of cannabis. Excessive drinking often ends up with youngsters getting into trouble with the law while taking cannabis and other soft drugs can lead to experimentation, and sometimes addiction, with harder substances. Campaigners yesterday praised Prince Charles' decision to send Prince Harry on a visit to Featherstone Lodge, an addiction centre in Forest Hill, south London, but also said it was important not to brush the dangers of alcohol to one side. Rosie Brocklehurst, director of communications at the drug and alcohol charity Addaction, said: "It's every parent's nightmare that their child is going to get involved in drugs. It seems that the Prince of Wales has acted with deep sensitivity and very quickly. "But it is vital that we do not forget about the hazards of drink. Young people usually start experimenting with alcohol and cigarettes and then often move on to drugs. The government has a drugs strategy but no published alcohol strategy. Alcohol is still more socially acceptable than drug taking but it can be just as dangerous." Ms Brocklehurst said there were few facilities for the treatment of young teenagers with drug problems - Featherstone Lodge residents must be over 18 - and there was no published national strategy for dealing with problems created by alcohol. Yesterday Featherstone Lodge, which was visited by Harry in August, was besieged by photographers and camera crews. The blinds were pulled down to protect the privacy of the 20-odd residents, mainly recovering heroin and cocaine addicts. Loud rap and soul music was being played inside. Residents had been told to prepare themselves for a royal visit only a few minutes before Harry's arrival. The prince chatted with recovering addicts over a cup of tea, examined art work produced by residents and sat in on a communal therapy group. Bill Puddicombe, chief executive of the charity Phoenix House which runs the centre, said: "Residents told him in stark, horrendous detail about their lives prior to arriving at Featherstone Lodge. "The residents are people in the main who have lost everything, who have lost their homes, lost touch with their families and in some cases lost touch with children. Their lives revolve around nothing more than trying to get their next hit." During the visit, Harry was said to be relaxed and the residents "warmed to him". At the time the centre did not know of Prince Charles' reasons for wanting Harry to visit them but Mr Puddicombe said it now seemed like a "piece of responsible parenting". Additional Articles - The Guardian Unlimited UK:  Prince Praised for Stance on Harry's Drug Use,2763,632452,00.htmlDrink and Drugs and Royal Role: Why Harry's Just a Wild Child,2763,632457,00.htmlSource: Guardian Unlimited, The (UK) Author: Steven MorrisPublished: Monday January 14, 2002Copyright: 2002 Guardian Newspapers LimitedContact: letters Articles:Prince's Drinking, Drug Use Give Press Field Day Prince Harry Smoked Pot
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Comment #3 posted by krutch on January 14, 2002 at 13:26:50 PT:
More Alarmist BS
The revelations about Prince Harry expose a problem which is blighting society, from the well-heeled children of the upper class through to youngsters who live on the most deprived estates. News flash: People have been binge drinking and smoking pot for a hell of a long time. Nothing new under the sun. The "blighting society" comment seems an overreaction to me. If partying was truly a blight on society things would be on hell of a lot worse than they are now.Hey Guardian, get a grip.
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Comment #2 posted by QcStrt on January 13, 2002 at 22:37:04 PT
wrong place
The Washington Post has
started a discussion group on hemp foods, the issue at: You can read what
others are saying and post your own opinion, showing the editors that there
are many educated citizens who care about this issue.
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on January 13, 2002 at 20:49:57 PT
The twins are far from identical
Binge drinking rots the liver, smoking pot does no such thing.The cannabinoids in pot have been shown to be neuroprotective, so if one must binge drink, perhaps a spliff break during the binge could save a few brain cells from the alcohol attack.
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