Drugs use is a major community nightmare which seems to resist outside intervention. If it is to be tackled successfully, much of the will and the effort must come from the community itself.

For that reason, two initiatives on which we report today are particularly promising. In one of them, which aims to tackle drugs before they become a problem, youth officers in Shipley have recruited young volunteers and are training them to act as a positive influence on their peers.

Their aim is to nip trouble in the bud by encouraging youngsters to take part in sensible, character-forming activities instead of just hanging around the streets where they can be tempted into the world of drugs and crime.

The theory behind the project is a valid one: that young people are more likely to take notice of others more or less their own age than they are of those they perceive to be adult do-gooders.

The other scheme aims to help people who have already been sucked into the world of drugs, and their families. USER Friendly's plan to take over a former fish-and-chip shop on Thorpe Edge and turn it in to a drop-in caf for users and their relatives is the brainchild of a group which has grown out of the community.

Its aim is to encourage parents to get together and talk about the difficulties they have in common in the hope that, together, they can take control of the problem.

Both schemes, in their own way, seem to have a lot to commend them. We wish them every success.

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