Drug abusing children reveal family as dealers

Some children claimed their parents were supplying them with heroin

HUNDREDS of children are getting illegal drugs from their own family members, a national survey has revealed.

Around a quarter of school pupils, some as young as 13, have admitted taking drugs such as cocaine, heroin and crack.

But shockingly almost 8% of children who had tried illegal substances said they had been supplied by a parent or sibling.

Critics described the findings “very worrying” and blamed the “Trainspotting generation” for normalising casual drug use.

The phrase refers to 90s novel by author Irvine Welsh, and the subsequent film, which depicts the lives of Edinburgh addicts.

Around 37,000 school children form second and fourth year at secondary school were quizzed for the survey.

The findings showed that anti-drugs messages appeared to be having more of an effect of girls than boys.

In 2008, drug use amongst girls aged 15 was 22% but this had fallen to 18% last year.

But in boys of the same age the use dropped by just 1% from 25%.

Drug use amongst 13-year-olds fel slightly from 7% to 5%.

The most commonly used drug was cannabis, with 10% of 15-year-olds and 2% of 13-year-olds admitting to having us3ed it within the last month.

But staggeringly hundreds of teenagers from both school years admitted in the confidential survey to having taken highly addictive drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crack.


One of the more worrying trends was the rise in proportion of children sourcing drugs from family members.

For 15-year-olds the figure for obtaining drugs from parents or step-parents doubled to 2%, while there was a 6% rise from 2008 amongst 13-year-olds.

Meanwhile 4% of fourth years and 7% of second years claimed their brother or sister was their supplier.

Alistair Ramsay, a campaigner for drugs group Drugwise, said: “This demonstrates how drug users can evolve.

“The users of the 1980s and 1990s are now parents and grandparents and often have a very different attitude to drugs than society would expect.

“It’s very worrying but perhaps not surprising that they are introducing and even supplying children with drugs because they don’t see anything wrong in them.”

He added “We have to hope younger generations decide not to follow in their parents’ footsteps.

“But to achieve this we need a very carefully researched drug education programme across Scotland although sadly I don’t see any appetite for one.”

John Arthur, from Crew 2000 – a drug information service, said: “It’s a myth that most young people get their drugs from a dealer at the school gates.

“In the majority of cases they get them from a family member or friend.

“For large sections of society it’s normal to use drugs and many parents believe there is less risk in taking cannabis, for example, than drinking alcohol.”

Jackson Carlaw, the health spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, added: “ That the number of 13 to 15-year-olds gaining access to these through family members is rising is shocking.

“Close relatives need to be discouraging loved ones from starting these damaging habits, not feeding them.”

Police inScotlandhave arrested almost 2000 under-16s for the supply or possession of drugs in the last three years.

One of the youngest was just 10 years old and was arrested for alleged drug possession. Additionally three 11-year-olds have been arrested for allegedly dealing drugs.

It is estimated that 59,000 Scottish children live in homes where at least one parent is addicted to drugs.


  1. So the figures are dropping, surely a good sign. It is hardly remarkable that children should source their drugs in this way, how could you keep it hidden? How many tut- tutting will have given their children their first taste of alcohol?

Comments are closed.