28/11/2008

Festive Warning Over Cocaine Use

Festive party-goers across Scotland are being targeted in a seasonal campaign to warn about the dangers of taking cocaine.

More than 200 pubs and clubs across the country are expected to participate in the Know the Score Cocaine Awareness Weekends (CAWs) which will kick off in Glasgow and Edinburgh this weekend (Friday 28 - Sunday 30, November) and roll out to four other regions.

The CAWs are directly targeting 18-26 year olds and the general adult population to raise awareness of the health risks of taking cocaine.

Minister for Community Safety, Fergus Ewing said: "We're tackling the damage caused to our communities by drug misuse. We're equipping law enforcement agencies with the powers and resources to take out drug gangs and funding health and other local agencies to help those gripped by drug addiction to recover their lives.”
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Mr Ewing said in addition to making clear the legal consequences of drug misuse, people need to know the health risks, even from the so-called 'recreational' use of cocaine.

Gordon Meldrum, Director General, Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) said: "Cocaine is not the safe and clean drug some believe it to be - it is highly addictive and the harms are significant, particularly when mixed with alcohol."

A total of 80 venues across Glasgow and Edinburgh will be participating in the first weekend.

The initiative was launched at Lava & Ignite Nightclub in Edinburgh. General Manager Bill MacGregor, who is also co-Chairperson of Unight, a scheme with over 40 members and supported by Lothian and Borders Police in its bid to enforce a zero tolerance policy against drugs, assaults, and weapons, said: "Members of Unight work in partnership with an aim to make the city's nightlife safer. The Cocaine Awareness Weekend is a worthwhile campaign that will help to educate our patrons about the dangers of taking this drug and we hope that, through our support, we can help to make a difference."

(GK)

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