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Most churches 'lack paperwork to tackle drug use'

New research suggests 80-per-cent of UK churches do not have an official policy to tackle drug use, despite being under a legal obligation to prevent illegal drug use on site.

The Christian charity Hope UK says its poll of 100 congregations shows many may not know how to respond to situations such as teenagers smoking cannabis in their car park.

Chief executive officer, Joe Griffiths told Premier: "The drugs policy, in its simplest form, is a set of guidelines that ensure issues related to drugs and alcohol are treated fairly and efficiently within your church.

 

"Part of your drugs policy should be a lot of allocation towards prevention work; working with young people within your church and doing drug education work with them".

A drugs policy ought to set out which substances are not acceptable within church and how the use of drugs for medicinal purposes can be managed, according to Hope UK.

The organisation, which promotes drugs literacy, found 75-per-cent of churches lack paperwork on how to guide young people who are offered drugs by their friends or strangers.

Ninety-nine-per-cent of churches who did not have a drugs policy admitted it would be a good idea.

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Joe Griffiths added: "Only 43-per-cent of respondents said that they did have a drugs policy, that everyone was trained and followed the policy.

"That actually means that of those 57-per-cent of churches that aren't training their staff, effectively, they don't have a drugs policy."

Click here to listen to Premier's John Pantry and Rosie Wright speaking with Joe Griffiths at Hope UK:

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