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The dangers of cannabis captured in an ad

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A scene from the ad.
A scene from the ad.

Children as young as 10 have been receiving treatment for cannabis abuse in Kent.

The revelation comes from the Kent-based drugs charity the Kenward Trust on the day a new television advert aimed at discouraging use of the drug is aired for the first time.

The ad - which you can watch above - has been released by Frank, a government-backed drug information service.

It demonstrates the highs and lows that come from dabbling with the drug with the aim of discouraging young people from taking it.

• What do you think? Will the advert achieve its aim?Watch it above and send us your views via the 'Make a comment' tab at the bottom of this article.

Welcoming the advert as "a good start", Kenward Trust spokesman Tony Williams said: "Anything that brings these issues and their inherent dangers to light has got to be a good thing."

He also revealed children as young as 10 have been receiving treatment for cannabis in the county.

"We deliver the Drug Intervention Support Programme (DISP), which is based on government guidelines, and work with young people who experience issues relating to illegal drugs between the ages of 10 and 17," he said.

"So we're working with 10-year-olds throughout Kent on this particular programme. That's quite shocking."

Mr Williams insisted other issues surrounding cannabis need to be tackled too, in order for the advert to be properly effective.

He added: "If a young person is caught with an illegal substance on them they stand a very real risk of obtaining a drug-related criminal record.

"This means they might not be accepted into college, university, the armed forces, or allowed into America.

"Kenward Trust would like to see a video examining the consequences."

According to Mr Williams, people also need to be more aware that what they are taking could have been tampered with.

"Drugs can be cut with various things, for instance fibreglass," he said. "This makes the profit more lucrative for the supplier - but can be extremely dangerous for the health of the person taking it."

Mr Williams said the charity had seen an increase in the amount of cannabis being brought into the country between January 2004, when it was downgraded, and last month, when it was reclassified as a class B drug.

Kevin Molloy, the director of operations at KCA, believes the style of advert is more powerful than the 'Just Say No' campaign of the 1980s.

He said: "Those old adverts tended to have the reverse effect, almost like the wet paint syndrome - you have to touch it to see if it's actually true.

"This film still has a slightly parental approach but it also gives people the facts so they can decide for themselves."

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