Government website Talk to Frank has gone into overdrive with ‘The Parents Drug Test.’
Designed to wreak hysteria amongst suburban parents this guide carries all the usual prejudices, misinformation and downright ignorance that the void highlighted previously when discussing their inaccurate and dangerous Drugs A to Z.
Despite being informed of the many inaccuracies on their site Frank has changed little if anything at all and seems quite happy doling out misinformation to both parents and teenagers alike.
So let’s have a look at their quiz
Q1 Which of these are a sign that your child may be using drugs?
the choices they offer are:
Poor Immunity/Coughs and Colds
Dilated Pupils/Red or Glazed Eyes
Moody, irritable or erratic behaviour
Withdrawel from family and friends
Loss of interest in school, problems with discipline/truancy
Money disappearing or going missing without any evidence of what was bought
and on it goes listing all the other symptoms known to be indicative of being a teenager. the void suggests some more dead give aways …
Your child staggering in at 10 in the morning with a bunch of mates swigging lager and talking about having been on a top one the night before then asking if you’ve got any skins
Your child begins earning thousands of pounds in the media and makes frequent trips to the bathroom
You catch your child selling travelcards outside the tube station and he/she doesn’t recognise you, instead asking you for a fag
Your child loses the power to walk or speak and you find him/her face down in a pile of white powder with gabba blaring out of the stereo.
Your child leaves homes, gets a dog and goes to live in a truck
… all are signs recognised by experts that your child doesn’t like you very much and wants to be left alone.
Frank then goes on to ask worried parents to match equipment to the various drugs it’s used for. Excelling himself in his ignorance Frank has decided crack users don’t use pipes, all ecstasy comes in pin boxes or tiny bits of clear food wrap, acid comes on stickers or transfers (?), ganja doesn’t smell and no-one smokes coke in spliffs (in reality some of the most voracious coke users we’ve known here often prefer coke spliffs to lines.)
This really is nonsense, not even propaganda, just misinformed garbage which shows how even those in the professional (sic) drugs field are largely inexperienced and confused about how different drugs are used.
The propaganda comes along soon enough though with question three stating unequivocably that cannabis leads to mental health problems, a statement far from proved and contested by many. Frank then goes on to flog the hopefully soon to be dead horse that cannabis use can lead to other drugs. We reckon reading Frank’s continual garbage is more likely to drive people to take hard drugs than the odd reefer.
Frank then decides to play at ‘what am I?’ on question 4 with questions like “I am a white crystalline powder, sometimes in the form of a white or off-white tablet”
The answer here is ecstasy, Frank then asks “I am an off white or pinkish powder that can sometimes look like crystals” which could be cheap ketamine, badly cut coke, ecstasy again or glucose … the correct answer of course is speed, though the best speed I’ve ever had was bright orange!
Frank then says that he is ‘brown and sticky (that’s what comes from being full of shit Frank) and come in a small jar’ and this turns out to be the elusive cannabis oil. This is Frank trying to show off by letting us know he knows all about cannabis oil, but proves himself woefully inaccurate as usual. Cannabis oil is quite a find and generally comes scraped into the indents in the plastic from old painkiller packaging.
Few teenagers could afford a jar of the stuff, so if you find that then don’t worry.
It just means that they’re serving up and you might not need to worry so much about your pension plan, encourage them by buying them a decent set of digi’s.
Question five is boring, just asking how much a pill costs … and Frank does get this one right although the alternatives to a fiver or less (£20-50 or over £100) are clearly ridiculous.
Question 6 re-iterates more unscientific propaganda claiming long term ecstasy use can cause depression, personality change and memory loss. (by the way Frank, living causes personality change and memory loss, and having the kind of parents who would take this test can probably lead to depression).
Frank gets retro in Question 7 with ‘street’ names for various drugs informing us that dexies are slang for speed. A phrase barely used since the 70’s most teenagers would look at you like the old fool you are if you asked them about dexies.
Frank also fails to realise that whilst gear is often used as slang for heroin it can also be slang for cannabis, which could lead to more than one over-anxious parent leaping to the wrong conclusion.
Finally Question 8 asks a question with only one answer option
What’s the best way to prevent your child from taking drugs?
the patronising answer being ‘talk to them and keep talking’
and do stupid tests like this one guaranteed to fill you with meaningless prejudice, waffle and at times pure bullshit when you finally come around to having that conversation.