The leaflet, which targets pupils as young as 13, gives ‘safety tips’ on how to take illegal substances and was produced by Edinburgh council and the city’s Drug and Alcohol Project.
The booklet includes street names for drugs, the ‘effects and risks’ of taking them and finally ‘safety tips’ for those ‘determined to use’ drugs.
Pupils are advised to ‘sleep well’ before and after using cocaine, avoiding mixing with alcohol, to ‘wash out your nose after each session’ and to ‘avoid sharing rolled-up bank notes or straws’.
When taking MDMA or ecstasy, children are told to ‘start with a half a pill and wait at least two hours before re-dosing’ and to ‘sip water regularly’ but no more than ‘one pint an hour’. They are also advised to ‘take regular breaks from dancing to cool down.’
Agnes Morrison of the Maxie Richards Foundation, an anti-drugs charity said: ‘I don’t know why anybody would put out a leaflet telling teenagers the safe way of taking drugs.
‘There is no safe way to take drugs. Drugs destroy people so why would you want to put together a leaflet?
‘I’ve never come across anything like this. I know they are putting them in schools and that there is other educational information in there.
‘But a lot of kids who do not know anything about drugs might read it and get the impression that there is a safe way to take drugs.
‘It’s like saying “here are 10 easy ways to take drugs”. The only safe guidance against drugs is not to take them at all.’
But Gael Cochrane, a development officer for the Edinburgh Drug and Alcohol Project which is leading the project, said it was the best way to keep teenagers safe.
She said: ‘Some young people will look things up on the internet but many will not. Without all the facts they are in a more dangerous situation.
‘We completely accept there are going to be young people who don’t take drugs or drinks or have sex, and we would support them in that. ‘But they are a small group, as are the ones who are taking lots of drugs. It’s the majority who are undecided.’
Nice of her to lend her support to that “small minority” and reach out to the undecided majority to ease them over to the dark side. Edinburg already enjoys the reputation of being one of the most booze-addles, drug-ingesting cities in Great Britain, and this campaign can only help sustain that ranking. It’s good to be Number One in something.