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To Sam

My high school has drugs!?

I'm going to high school in over a week and I'm worried. I heard alot of people deal weed in the back field away from teachers, I even heard that someone in year 7 got hooked up on it! I'm worried that me or my friends will start smoking weed or doing any other kind of drugs. What should I do?
Ask Sam



Thank you for your letter. I can hear how worried you are about the rumours about drugs at your new school.

It’s easy to think that you’re the only one who is worried about drugs but most people at secondary school don’t take drugs, so it’s unlikely that you’re on your own with these concerns. Sometimes it can feel like there’s lots of pressure to fit in and do what you think other people are doing but it’s always best to make up your own mind about things. Often people will have respect for you if you’re clear about what you will and won’t do. And even if people try to persuade you to change your decision, that doesn’t mean that you have to.

From what you’ve said, it seems that you are aware that it’s safest to stay away from drugs completely. Taking any kind of drug can change your mood and the way that you feel and it can be dangerous. There are always risks involved. Even though some drugs are sold as “legal highs”, or described as “natural plants”, it doesn’t mean that it won’t cause you any harm. Legal and/or Illegal drugs may be mixed with other things and you can never know how they may affect you. You might react differently to other people, so even if your friends get on ok with something, it doesn’t mean you’ll be the same. Drugs can make doing school or college work really difficult and hard to keep up with. They can mess up the way that you focus in class, act with other people and affect your memory.

It might be helpful to think how you want to respond if someone does offer you drugs at school. It may be good to talk about this with your friends before you start the new term. It sounds like you’re aware of what the risks are already and it’s important not to be persuaded to do things that you’re sure you don’t want to do. Talking about this with us and with your friends can help you to feel strong and independent enough to say no.The Being assertiveness page in Explore has some good techniques for standing up for yourself.

It’s great that you’re thinking about this now and that you decided to write to me. There’s always someone at ChildLine for you and your friends to talk to. You can ring the free phone number 0800 1111 (which doesn’t show up on a phone bill), you log on for a 1-2-1 chat or you can send an email.

Take care,


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