Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Government launches cocaine crackdown
The government is launching a new crackdown on cocaine, Drugs Minister Vernon Coaker announced today.
A £1 million FRANK campaign targeted at 15-18 year olds, a commitment to the Colombian government’s Shared Responsibility campaign and a new leaflet illustrating the dangers of the drug are being announced to enhance the drive to tackle cocaine use.
The FRANK campaign will make young people aware of the health and social harms of using cocaine and aims to deglamourise the drug’s celebrity image by revealing its ugly consequences. The campaign will use a range of media including online advertising to reach young people with the real facts about the drug.
Coaker will also lead a summit with the representatives of Colombian government, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the National Treatment Agency and the London Drug Policy Forum to explore how the efforts to cut cocaine use can be enhanced. He will also attend a special exhibition in Trafalgar square with the Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos and former Blur bassist Alex James that will demonstrate the environmental and social destruction caused by cocaine use.
Coaker said “We have taken tough action against cocaine use in recent years. More than 1,100 crack houses have been closed thanks to powers we introduced four years ago."
“Cocaine use has been stable in recent years but it is a very dangerous drug for users and has a devastating impact on the people that live in producing countries. Cocaine users need to realise that their drug use destroys more than their health; it destroys the lives of innocent people caught up in kidnapping, exploitation and armed violence” he continued.
“We will continue to tackle cocaine and other illegal drugs through tough enforcement, innovate prevention campaigns, effective education and, where necessary, tailored treatment.”
The FRANK drug awareness campaign, which plays a crucial role in empowering young people with knowledge of the effects of drug use, celebrate its fifth anniversary on 23 May.