HC Deb 10 November 1966 vol 735 c1515
10. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what discussions have taken place with a view to instructing teachers to recognise signs of drug addiction in schoolchildren and to ensure swift and effective treatment for them.

Mr. Denis Howell

None directly, as this is a matter for the local education authorities and the schools. But my right hon. Friend proposes to offer advice on the general subject in a forthcoming revised edition of the Department's pamphlet "Health Education".

Mrs. Short

Will my hon. Friend give this matter his utmost support, because a situation is developing in which schoolchildren of 11 and 12 are now experimenting with drugs of all kinds? This is a very serious situation.

Mr. Howell

Indeed we are aware of the growingproblem, although I think we ought to keep it in proportion. The figures for under-20s provided by the Home Office show that the number of drug addicts in 1960 was I and 145 in 1965. My hon. Friend will be glad to know that authorities where this is a problem are giving detailed advice to teachers upon drug addiction.