A fairly controversial topic this week that’s sure to get me a couple of nasty e-mails but one that I feel should be touched on anyway - drugs. I do realise that this is a computer article in a local newspaper but the subject in question does have ties to both the local populous and the Internet as the focus of the article today is the website www.talktofrank.com which has been heavily promoted recently on our local radio and TV.

Having heard the advert I thought that I’d take a look to see what all the fuss was about and was greeted with a fairly simple site but with a wealth of accurate and comprehensive information. Many parents I anticipate will find this disgusting as surely all drugs should be condemned so why do you want a website telling your child the effects that ecstasy will have on your life and the safest ways to take it? The reality of the situation is however that it’s only by understanding the risks that young people will be able to decide not to take a certain drug and if they do happen to try it then they can stay as safe as possible whilst under the influence.

After benefiting from an education that explained the possible risks to me I understand the importance that it had on my life and the potential importance for other people. If for example I had a son who started taking cocaine then I’d rather he was educated as to how to stay as safe as possible and still alive so that he could have chance to give it up rather than naive and dead. The Herald Express has run numerous anti-drug articles and I believe that this website is a valuable resource which could properly educate young people so they could choose not to take a drug and also give parents advice if they suspected their children were users. Now that I’ve spent half the article rationalising my motives for writing about this site I’ll continue with the review.

The front page has an alphabetical listing of pretty much every drug available including their ‘street names’ which ranges from alcohol to heroin with information included as to how the drug in question is produced, how pure it is likely to be, cost, effects, chances of getting hooked, risks and the law. There is a section for parents and friends who may be concerned about someone in their lives is taking drugs and they want advice on which way to turn; most importantly for most parents will be the drug dictionary mentioned above as if your son or daughter admits to smoking cannabis then you should know what that really involves before hitting the roof and giving them a generic lecture on drugs.

There is a comprehensive list of places to get help listed on the website which can be searched by postcode. Typing in a TQ4 postcode bought up around a dozen places between Paignton and Plymouth which would be able to give assistance with drug addiction, rehab, support as well as information about drug related infections such as hepatitis.

Many think that the answer to kerbing young peoples drug habits is to tell them exaggerated mistruths from birth, assuming that will be enough but as it is almost certain in modern culture that all young people will come into contact with drugs at some point so it is important they are properly educated. This way it will be easier to say no and if you do go ahead and try it then at least you will have made in informed decision and have some idea on what to expect and how to stay as safe as possible.

It is a tribute to the design of the Internet that anybody worried about a problem in their life can go online and discuss it openly and anonymously to get the help and support that they need. Talk to Frank is an important website which I feel that all parents and all young people reading this article would benefit from visiting; even if they do find the contents somewhat offensive. If you need help in a more urgent nature or don’t have access to a computer then you can also call Talk to Frank on 0800 77 66 00; the call won’t show up on your phone bill and they won’t ask for your name.

Sponsered by Refresh Cartridges

Back to Main Page