Now, a 'teen guide' to show you how to take drugs

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Melbourne, June 17 : Want to try drugs? Well, a new 'teen guide' by Sydney West Area Health Service will show you just how to go about the entire business.

The booklet headed 'Choosing to use ... but wanna keep your head together?' aimed at students in Year 9 and Year 10, advises students on what to do if they "choose to experiment".

Since it is public exposure, the teaching resource has been accused of promoting illegal drugs - including ecstasy, cannabis and methamphetamines - by health and education authorities.

Inside, the booklet suggests young people should not experiment until they are over 18, know their family medical history and "use only small amounts and not too often".

Students targeted by the booklet claimed that it encouraged them to try drugs. One mum, whose 15-year-old daughter attends Seven Hills High School in Sydney's west, said the booklet sent the wrong message to students.

"I'm always discussing the dangers of taking drugs with my kids," quoted her, as saying.

"Drug use is a big concern for parents. I'm afraid of the negative impact drug use has on a child's life and I don't think it's a good thing to encourage them.

"It shouldn't be about whether or not you do decide to take them (drugs)," she added.

A Year 9 student added: "It was basically saying that if you are going to do drugs this is how you should do it. A better message would have been that drugs can wreck your life and you really shouldn't do it."

A female teenager said some students laughed when they read the material.

"It puts a message out there that it's OK to take drugs," she said.

In its defence, the Sydney West Area Health Service issued a statement saying the resource was "designed to provide young people and their families with information about risks associated with the use of alcohol and illicit drugs".

"The resources emphasise that ideally no young person will turn to drug use and one key message is the best way to keep your head together is not to use drugs at all," it said.

"But studies consistently demonstrate the majority of young people will experiment with and use alcohol or other drugs at some time. Many of them do so without adequate awareness of the impact on their mental and physical health," it added.

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