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NSW: Drug pamphlet display causes outrage

24 Nov 2008 6:20 PM

SYDNEY, Nov 24 AAP - Parents have every right to be outraged about a pamphlet on drug use displayed during an information day for high school students in the NSW Hunter Valley, the opposition says.

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre's pamphlet, A User's Guide toSpeed, is not designed for the general public but aims to help users quit the habit.

It was put on display to a group of Year 8 students visiting Toronto Courthouse for a drug and alcohol workshop promoted by the NSW government, The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.

Copies of another brochure, Choose to Use, which the government in June ordered be destroyed after a public outcry, were also on display.

Opposition education spokesman Andrew Stoner said a user's guide to drugs was the last thing parents needed their children to see.

"Parents have got every right to be outraged that their children may be getting literature which encourages drug use," he told reporters.

"They've also got every right to be outraged about the lame excuses from the Rees Labor government."

NSW Health Minister John Della Bosca said his predecessor Reba Meagher had ordered copies of the Choose to Use brochure be pulped.

"It would appear a non-government organisation has kept some copies and distributed it at an inappropriate forum," he told ABC online.

"I haven't seen it myself, but clearly, this is an inappropriate forum for this kind of drug material."

Drug campaigner Darren Marton gave a talk at the workshop and said the pamphlets were on a trestle table outside.

The pamphlet on speed advises users to get a reliable dealer and wait to see the effects of a hit before taking more of the drug.

Mr Marton on Monday said the literature was inappropriate.

"I stand here on behalf of all the parents who are the silent voices who don't get to speak up," he told reporters.

"This is unacceptable."

Mr Marton said he had been a heroin addict after starting to abuse cannabisand alcohol at an early age.

Harm minimisation had been a blanket policy, he said, adding that it wasnot appropriate in every circumstance.

"In my opinion, and many other people's, it should not be at a grass roots level (for) 13- and 14-year-olds," he said.