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How to tell your kids the drugs don't work.


EVEN the most streetwise of parents can struggle to talk to their children about drugs.

Every month 2000 call the Know the Score information hotline for free confidential advice - and a further 25,000 visit the website.

One of them was David McBeith who had first-hand experience of drugs as a teenager but still needed help to broach the subject with daughter Jackie.

Now they are both at the forefront of a new campaign. Here's their inspiring story.

DAD David McBeith thought he knew everything there was to know about drugs when his daughter Jackie started asking quesitions.

The dad-of-three, who is now a super-fit gym instructor, had experienced them first hand.

He said: "I went off the rails at 19 and tried various drugs before ending up in pain with serious dehydration."

But like the thousands of parents who contact Know the Score every month, David needed answers to help educate his daughter...and himself.

The trigger was a trip to their local shopping precinct in Bathgate, West Lothain, when Jackie, then 11, said she smelled hash.

David, 37, said: "It set off alarm bells.

Jackie said she knew someone who'd smoked hash and had heard of heroin and speed, then she started asking questions I couldn't answer."

Like many youngsters today, 14-year-old Jackie is living in a community blighted by drugs.

David said: "She knows a heroin addict and youngsters smoke cannabis walking down the street here.

"When I was her age, I'd never heard of heroin yet she saw someone with a needle in the park. It frightens me.

"My dad told me, 'don't drink, don't smoke and drugs are bad for you,' as he sat with a fag and drink in his hand.

"I wanted to tell Jackie why drugs are bad. Instead of scaring her to death, I wanted to help her live properly."

As one of the real families fronting the Know the Score campaign David had to be honest with his daughter.

He said: "I'd tried Ecstasy, speed and cannabis. One night I took half an E and didn't drink anything but alcohol.

"The next daymy kidneys were very painful and I kept being sick.

"I had to go to the doctor and I've never been near anything like that again."

Since her dad requested details about drugs widely available to youngsters, and went through it with Jackie, they are both better informed. The second year pupil said: "I've seen someone burn hash and roll a joint and at a party someone smoked cannabis then ended up in hospital with alcohol poisoning.

"Too many adverts show you what drugs do to you on the outside and not the inside but I'll never try anything because I've seen what it does." Jackie is proud to be the public face for the Government's drugs campaign.

She added: "I now know much more about drugs than my school friends and can help warn them about the dangers.

"Even if I didn't have such a strong relationship withmy dad, I'd still bring the subject of drugs up. I'm just glad he went to the effort to find the answers."

Call Know the Score's confidential 24-hour helpline, below, to speak to a trained advisor or visit their website.

So you think you Know the Score?

1. Which of the following drugs falls into the hallucinogen category?

A Paracetamol

B Enchanted Edam

C Magic Mushrooms

2. Which of these is a Class A drug?

A Echinacea

B Vitamin E

C Heroin

3. What name is commonly used for Amphetamine?

A Fast

B Douglas

C Speed

4. Which group of drugs is cocaine in?

A Vegetables

B Minerals

C Stimulants

5. What class of drug is Ecstasy in?

A Science



6. What does GHB stand for?

A Giant Hamster Burrows

B George Has Beans

C Gamma Hydroxybutyrate

8. Which household item is also a common name for cannabis?

A Pillow

B Cupboard

C Soap Bar

9. The hallucinogen called LSD is also commonly known as?

A Alkaline

B Apples

C Acid

10. What colour is cocaine?

A Green

B Brown

C White

If you answered mostly A or B:

Your knowledge of drugs is limited, however Know the Score can help you find out more. Call the Know the Score freephone 24-hour helpline 0800 587 5879 and speak to trained advisers in confidence or visit the website There's also a special Know the Score parent's guide - What Every Parent Should Know - that can be requested through the helpline.

If you answered mostly C:

You have a good basic knowledge of drugs but for more help and advice on speaking to your children about drugs call the Know the Score helpline on 0800 587 5879 and speak to trained advisers in confidence, or visit


Campaign: David and Jackie are helping parents talk to kids about drugs after learning of the dangers together
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 16, 2008
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