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Drug use in the young raises challenges for churches

Posted on: July 3, 2013 8:28 PM
Archdeacon David McClay was told by local young people that Ecstasy tablets and cocaine are readily available
Photo Credit: Wikipedia/US Government
Related Categories: Down & Dromore, Ireland

From the Diocese of Down and Dromore

The current publicity about drugs in East Belfast raises some real challenges for churches and those who work with young people. Our prayers in the Diocese of Down and Dromore are particularly with those who have lost a family member because of drugs over recent weeks.

Drugs are widely available today in most towns and villages – probably much more widely available than most church going people would care to believe.

In East Belfast, conversations with local young people have brought this home to the rector of Willowfield, Archdeacon David McClay. In his community most young people can easily access drugs if they so desire.

“A conversation with one young man highlighted to me the peer pressure that young people are under to use drugs, how much drugs are a part of the party scene and that many of our youth drift into drug addiction through what they see as “recreational use”, remarked David.

“Ecstasy tablets and cocaine in particular are readily available and cost very little. It’s important for our communities that those who sell drugs are brought to account by the PSNI and the courts.

“As churches we also need to be intentional about making the young people in our youth clubs and organisations much more aware of the dangers of drugs. Parents too need support in understanding both the dangers and the tell–tale signs that their sons and daughters are involved with these substances.”

The charity, Care for the Family, is acutely aware of the complex issues faced by families and where possible wants to help families in general and parents in particular by resourcing them to prevent or reduce the impact of many of the challenges they face. 

Read more about the The How to Drug Proof Your Kids (DPYK) course here.