Ecstacy demand high during anti-drugs push

March 13, 1998

The "Sorted" anti-drugs poster campaign that followed the death of teenager Leah Betts was counterproductive, says a researcher at the University of Teesside, who found that demand for Ecstacy tablets rose while the campaign was running. Louise Ridley, senior lecturer in criminology, surveyed 500 teenagers in the north-east about the effects of the Pounds 2 million campaign.

"It had a twofold effect. It frightened parents about the risks to their children of using illegal drugs, but it added a further sense of adventure for some of those already engaged in drug use," Dr Ridley said. Among her interviewees were two young men who pointed out that the type of tablet taken by Ms Betts, which carried a logo, became almost impossible to buy as demand soared.

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