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Shop a drug dealer and rid our streets of scum who trade in misery and death.

The Record today gives YOU the chance to help sweep evil drug dealers off our streets.

You can blow the whistle on the pushers by calling our Shop-a-Dealer hotline.

All calls are free and confidential - you don't even need to give your name.

But the information you pass on could stop young lives being blighted by the menace of drugs.

We're out to nail the pushers who lead plush lifestyles, but leave a trail of misery behind them.

They feed off the vulnerability of our young people, often sentencing them to a life of dependency ... or sometimes no life at all.

They have got to be stopped - and your tip-offs will help police nab the dealers in death.

Our hotline - which is open 24 hours a day until next Friday - comes at the end of a week- long anti-drugs drive by the Record.

It followed a shocking survey of 10,000 pupils which showed HALF had tried drugs by the time they were 17.

Scotland Against Drugs director David Macauley said: "We are delighted the Record is behind us.

"The paper is a beacon to decent people everywhere who are desperate to end the misery caused by drugs in their communities."

Viewers yesterday saw the young people of Scotland having their say in a unique TV debate.

And the clear message was that they want information about drugs - and to be taken seriously by adults.

About 1000 pupils aged 11-18 took part in Wise Up: The Drug Debate - a live show linking 300 secondary schools. The programme - which is repeated on Sunday - is expected to be seen by more than a million Scots.

It was screened yesterday by Scottish, Grampian and Border TV.

Viewers saw John Mains, 20, tell pupils about his own former addiction.

John, of Kirkcaldy, said: "Acid was the first drug I took and then cannabis. I liked the buzz.

"Then I started experimenting with cocaine, heroin and angel dust and the real problems started.

"My father died and that really got me. I knew that his last memory of me was as a junkie."

A year later, John has kicked his habit and is now working with drug education group Fast Forward.

Kerry Condron, 18, of Glasgow, told how she was also "clean" after years of abuse.

She said: "Heroin was my drug of choice, but I would try the lot.

"I started on solvents and cannabis when I was 11.

"I went through LSD, amphetamines and ecstacy. Then I did downer drugs like temgesics and heroin.

"One thing I learned is that there are no soft drugs and hard drugs - just drugs."

The TV audience said it was people like John and Kerry, who works for the Calton Athletic recovery group, who could tell them the truth about drugs.

Dunblane High School pupil Kelly Clark, 16, said Wise Up was only the start and kids needed even more frank discussion.

She added: "It is very good to have people who have the first-hand experience to come round the schools and take part in programmes like this.

"It is not enough to have someone who has never taken a drug in their life saying `don't do this, don't do that'."

Other pupils asked for stronger ads like the poster which featured dying ecstasy victim Leah Betts in her hospital bed.

One boy said the image that stuck with him was a new Scotland Against Drugs poster of a 12- year-old boy rolling a cigarette joint that was featured in the Record on Wednesday.

About a third of the 80-strong Glasgow studio audience admitted live on air they had tried drugs.

Also in the studio were hosts Ewan MacLeod and Shereen Nanjiani, The Crow Road actor Joe McFadden and new Gladiator Rebel.

Joe said: "Parents must be made aware that if they have a 16-year-old there's a 50 per cent chance they have taken drugs.

"So they need to know about them and know the drugs."

Pupils at Dumfries High School were joined by young actors from Byker Grove.

Assistant rector, Peter Glanton called for more resources to combat the drug trade. He also wants the government to end Customs and Excise cut- backs to stop smugglers.

In Aberdeen - where police are battling a major heroin problem - footballer Paul Bernard said: "There's an immense pressure on kids to take drugs.

"But the message is stay healthy."

Politicians from the four main parties also took part - and all pledged action.

Shadow Scots Secretary George Robertson said: "The main thing I have learned from this is that we should listen more. We should not lecture and talk down.

"Quite clearly young people want to be educated and know what the risks are."

David Macauley of Scotland Against Drugs promised the audience they would be listened to.

And he insisted the battle against drugs was one which had to be won.

He said: "These dealers have to be stopped - we want to kick and hurt them.

"The time has come to turn the heat on.

"Some of these guys are astute businessmen.

"But they have no conscience or they would not be able to justify lining their pockets with the wages of misery."

Shop a Dealer spokesman Dave Whitton said: "This problem has cursed society for too long.

"We have to get a grip on this evil - and that means attacking the sources of supply."

And Sergeant Ken Brown, of Tayside Police said: "The time has come to put the boot into these guys. We have got to get them off our streets."

The Wise Up debate will be repeated on Sunday - at 4.30pm by Scottish and at 4.05pm on Grampian.

YESTERDAY'S TV audience were asked the following drugs-related questions:

By the year 2000, drug use in schools will:

Increase - 73.3 per cent

Decrease - 9.7 per cent

Stay the same - 12.6 per cent.

Can anti-drugs messages make a difference?

Yes - 59 per cent

No - 41 per cent.

Who could stop you taking drugs?

Media star ads - 14.3 per cent

Friends - 54.9 per cent

Parents - 25.8 per cent

Politicians - 3.3 per cent.

Which anti-drugs ads are best?

Choose Life Not Drugs - 11 per cent

What Will Drugs Do To You? - 46 per cent

How Will You React To Speed? - 43 per cent.

JUSTICE AT THE END OF A PHONE LINE

TELEPHONE tip-offs have proved the undoing of many Scots drugs dealers.

Scott McLaughlin and Robert Fernie - a postie and a plumber - flaunted their wealth, splashing out on designer clothes.

Cops, acting on a tip-off, began a surveillance op.

When they swooped on Fernie's Glasgow home, they found the pair had Scotland's biggest- ever heroin haul, worth pounds 5.4million.

Last week, they were each jailed for nine years.

Glasgow hardman Arthur Thompson Jnr controlled a drugs empire but was caught during a heroin deal in 1985.

He was gunned down in 1991 by a rival gang while on leave from prison.

James Alexander tried to hang on to a pounds 400,000 drugs fortune after being nicked by claiming his wife earned it as a hooker.

The Glasgow dealer was forced to hand over pounds 200,000-plus earlier this year and is serving six years.

Pals Brian Clarke and Kenneth Wright turned a council house bedroom into a dope farm.

Police raided the home in Lanark after a tip-off and discovered a "jungle" of cannabis plants, with a street value of pounds 105,000.

The pair were jailed for three years in May.
COPYRIGHT 1996 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Article Details
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Author:Oxley, Ken; Little, Tom
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 8, 1996
Words:1251
Previous Article:SHOP A DRUG DEALER!; Rid the streets of scum who trade in misery.
Next Article:Don't keep us in the dark say kids.



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