Dear Colleague, Welcome to this special reference edition of the FRANK Action Update.

This pack focuses on crack cocaine, and is primarily meant as an introduction to the subject for the local organiser who is coming across crack cocaine issues for the first time. The drug, its effects on the individual, and the ways in which it is tackled, are much misunderstood. We hope that you find the information and ideas in this Update useful in helping to bust the myths that surround crack cocaine and give you ideas for developing effective local action. The effects of crack cocaine are not evenly felt across the country but in certain areas it is a significant part of the local drug market. These areas tend to be central urban areas facing complex problems of which a highly developed class A drug market is a key factor. The effects of crack cocaine upon the community as part of this market can be acute and require urgent attention. With this in mind, this issue of the Action Update can be used by those working in High Crack Areas as well as other parts of the country. However, crack cocaine use is not confined to urban areas. Whether you are in an urban or rural area, understanding the extent to which crack cocaine is a feature of your local drug market is essential to planning your response. As crack cocaine markets continue to develop, it is important to be prepared and, above all, not to panic. If you are already working with crack cocaine in your area, you will most probably be familiar with much of the material. However, you may find some sections useful in your existing work particularly the checklists and ideas for action. Whatever your knowledge and experience of crack cocaine, we would really like to know how you are getting on. If we get good ideas that have worked locally we will make sure that this good practice is shared with you. Thank you for your support for the campaign and don’t forget to visit www.drugs.gov.uk/campaign for regular news and information about FRANK. The FRANK campaign team

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FACTS

BUSTING THE MYTHS ABOUT CRACK
“CRACK IS BLACK”
The drug trade hits disadvantaged communities hardest and more often. Deprivation and multiple drug use, not race, are the best predictors of problematic crack cocaine use.

CRACK COCAINE IS AN INNER-CITY DRUG
Originally, specialist agencies such as COCA found that their work took them to large cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, London and Nottingham. Now, they operate in towns and communities all over the country. Crack cocaine use may be more concentrated in large, deprived urban areas, but it is certainly not restricted to them.

ONLY POOR PEOPLE BECOME DEPENDENT ON CRACK COCAINE
Crack cocaine is more usually linked with poverty however its use is not confined to deprived areas and occurs across the social spectrum. As with all drugs, maintaining a habit is a costly exercise.

CRACK COCAINE DEPENDENCY IS UNTREATABLE
Crack cocaine dependency is treatable. Although there are no confirmed pharmacological interventions for crack cocaine dependence, psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy (in which crack cocaine users are helped to understand how the drug works, how to avoid triggers, cravings, and relapses) have been proven to be effective. As in all drug treatment, adopting a whole life approach rather than a narrow medical one is the key to success.

THERE ARE NO CRACK COCAINE SERVICES
Effective treatments for drug users are widely available. It is true that many services need to adjust in order to meet the needs of crack cocaine users better. However, with current training schemes and the utilisation of drug workers’ existing therapeutic skills, services are continually improving.

CRACK COCAINE IS NEW
In fact, crack cocaine has been used in Britain since the early 1980’s. In many ways taking crack cocaine is simply another way of taking cocaine – albeit at a much higher dose level. What is new is the trend of crack cocaine being used by established opiate users, and powder cocaine users moving on to crack cocaine.

CRACK COCAINE IS INSTANTLY ADDICTIVE
Crack cocaine is highly psychologically addictive, causing strong cravings, and it also causes a withdrawal syndrome (such as low mood and agitation) particularly with prolongd or heavy use. Unlike those dependent on heroin (who experience prominent physical withdrawal symptoms), periods of abstinence are normal for crack cocaine users. It is at such times that crack cocaine users may seek treatment.

CRACK COCAINE CAUSES VIOLENCE
Crack cocaine does not, in itself, cause users to become violent. Unlike alcohol, crack cocaine does not provoke violence through consumption alone. But the desperation and craving that comes with crack cocaine can lead to violent behaviour, in the form of aggressive begging or recourse to crime in order to fund a habit. Crack cocaine dealing, particularly on open-market ‘turf’, can also lead to violence, including intimidation of bystanders or local residents. However, overall, alcohol is statistically much more associated with violence and violent crimes, while experienced crack cocaine workers report that heroin users are generally more likely to become violent in treatment centres. A small number of crack cocaine users can become psychotic and this can be associated with aggression.

CRACK COCAINE IS ONLY SOLD IN CRACK HOUSES
The term ‘crack house’ is used very loosely. It can mean a building housing one or more crack dealer and sex worker, or a house used for parties where crack cocaine may be used. However, crack houses are not the only places where crack cocaine is sold. Crack cocaine is also sold on the street, on the ‘open market’, or delivered to people’s homes, on the ‘closed market’.

BABIES BORN TO CRACK COCAINE USING MOTHERS ARE BRAIN-DAMAGED
In the late 1980s/early 1990s, it was widely reported that babies born to crack cocaine using mothers would refuse to suckle and feed, and would invariably experience long-term brain damage. It has since been shown that the scare-stories surrounding ‘crack baby syndrome’ were overblown, and more to do with public and professional reactions to crack cocaine being used during pregnancy, than with factual evidence. However, crack cocaine and cocaine use during pregnancy is particularly inadvisable, and may cause miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth or disturbed behaviour in newborn babies.

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FACTS

Q&A
Q: What is crack cocaine, and how is it made?

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A: Crack cocaine is a smokeable form of cocaine, and is made by baking powder cocaine into rocks. When heated, these rocks ‘crack’, hence the name, and give off vapour, which is inhaled. It can also be diluted with water and injected.

Q: Is crack cocaine a problem?
A: Although crack cocaine is not as widely used as heroin, its effects are very damaging and hit the poorest communities the hardest. Crack cocaine use is not increasing throughout the country, but those communities affected by it will certainly see it as a problem.

Q: Who controls the crack cocaine-markets?
A: The crack cocaine market is entirely controlled by dealers. Crack cocaine is very profitable, and often local sex markets exploit women involved in prostitution who are dependent upon the drug.

Q: What is a crack house?
A: A crack house is a building where crack cocaine is sold, manufactured or taken - maybe even alongside other drugs.

Q: What is being done to tackle crack cocaine use?
A: The Government is funding the development of new treatment services, and there are now new strategies in place to deliver training, materials and support across a network of local agencies.‘Tackling Crack Cocaine: A National Plan’ was introduced in December 2002 and aims to achieve: • An increase in the number of people accessing drug treatment • An increase in awareness of crack cocaine issues among young people • A reduction in the number of young people starting to use crack cocaine • A reduction in local availability of crack cocaine • Greater public awareness of the realities of crack cocaine

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TIPS
COMMUNICATION CHECKLIST
Key messages Needs Assessment Assessing extent of crack cocaine use in the local community Activities • ‘snowballing’ •information from professionals •information from community leaders •surveys •local advertising of services (through the media, posters, postcards, beer mats etc) •literature highlighting effects of crack cocaine • peer to peer •education sessions in schools: all High Crack Areas to feature crack cocaine in education and prevention •local advertising (highlighting effects of crack cocaine) •literature (highlighting effects of crack cocaine) •education sessions in the workplace •community health information days •literature (highlighting effects of crack cocaine) •local advertising (highlighting effects of crack cocaine, services) •face to face meetings •discussion forums •face to face meetings •briefing sheets • reports of activities

Communicating to drug users

Education Harm Reduction Treatment/services

Communicating to Young People

Education Prevention

Communicating to Communities

Information and signposting

Communicating to Professionals Communicating to Decision Makers

Education Treatment Services Education Harm Reduction Treatment/services

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MORE
TITLE & DESCRIPTION FRANK display kit Starter pack of resources to help you spread the word about FRANK, containing: 100 each of FRANK for young people leaflets, FRANK for parents leaflets, and FRANK with your mates credit cards and FRANK generic postcards; 20 sheets of FRANK stickers; 200 FRANK business cards and 2 FRANK A3 posters. FRANK Pubs and Clubs kit A kit containing a selection of ambient media resources for use in pubs, bars and clubs. FRANK for young people leaflet Leaflet encouraging young people to get in touch with FRANK. FRANK for parents leaflet Leaflet encouraging parents to discuss drugs with their children and to call FRANK for help and advice. Drugs – What the law says leaflet What the law says and what it means. Young People’s Cannabis leaflet Reclassification explained. FRANK parents’ guide to drugs and alcohol Information about drugs and the law, plus practical advice on understanding and talking to children at different key ages. The Score - facts about drugs Leaflet aimed at 14-16 year olds. PRODUCT CODE QUANTITY MAXIMUM ORDER

31598

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40095 31588

10 No limit

31589 34102 34104

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FRANK with your mates credit card Credit card sized resource for young people to hand to their mates.... 31590 FRANK business card Credit card sized resource highlighting how to get in touch with FRANK, with blank reverse for extra or local information. Additional languages can be downloaded online at www.drugs.gov.uk/campaign. English version Arabic version Somali version Gujurati version Bengali version Punjabi version Urdu version Chinese version FRANK poster (A3 size) Highlighting the different ways to get in touch with FRANK. FRANK poster (A2 size) Highlighting the different ways to get in touch with FRANK. FRANK poster (A2 size) Slogan: Coke, E’s, heroin. FRANK sorts me out with all of them. FRANK poster (A3 size) Slogan: Coke, E’s, heroin. FRANK sorts me out with all of them. FRANK poster (A2 size) Slogan: When my mate offered me drugs FRANK told me what to do.

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TITLE & DESCRIPTION FRANK poster (A3 size) Slogan: When my sister wanted to do drugs, I introduced her to FRANK. FRANK postcards: A series of postcards with drugs messages. Hi (generic message) The world’s got a coke problem (cocaine message) Smokin’ (heroin message) Skin up (cannabis message) I love rock (crack message) Hard on (cocaine message) Been there, done that (generic message) Take me (class A message) FRANK 1st Birthday card FRANK birthday card to send to colleagues or anyone who has supported your work this year. FRANK Action Update Series of themed packs with ideas, background briefing, resources, activities and tip sheets for communications and awareness work in tandem with FRANK. Summer: feel the heat! Holidays, festivals, summer clubbing, off to college. We are Family Dealing with drugs issues in the family. Understanding Diversity Special reference edition on communicating with diverse audiences. Party Safe – Party Sound! Excess during the party season. Cannabis Reclassification. Drugs – the deal for students Focusing on drugs and other lifestyle issues at college and university. Produced in association with NUS. Happy 1st Birthday FRANK! A round-up and celebration of the first year of campaign activities, statistics and a look ahead to year 2. Understanding Crack Cocaine Special reference edition focusing on crack cocaine. NAME ORGANISATION ADDRESS

PRODUCT CODE

QUANTITY

MAXIMUM ORDER

32483

50

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POSTCODE

TO ORDER RESOURCES PLEASE FILL IN AND FAX THIS FORM TO NHS RESPONSELINE ON 01623 724 524 Alternatively you can place your order by phone, mail or email: TEL: 08701 555 455 EMAIL: doh@prolog.uk.com MAIL: Department of Health, PO Box 777, London SE1 6XH

TELL

The key to raising awareness about drugs and changing behaviour is what happens locally. That’s why local activity is vital to FRANK. We’re keen to hear how you are using FRANK, and what the campaign is contributing to local profile and awareness on drugs.
We also want to gather information and help spread the word about exciting and innovative communications practice. If you have a local success story about public awareness or media relations, we would love to hear from you. Stories which tie in with forthcoming bulletin themes (the community, communicating with vulnerable young people and FRANK in the workplace) will be especially welcome – and with your permission may be featured in our Movers and Shakers section, and in the success stories online at www.drugs.gov.uk. We look forward to hearing from you! How are you using the FRANK materials?

Can you describe any practical or strategic contribution that the FRANK campaign is making to local activity (e.g. by providing useful resources, profile, or impetus)?

Do you have any examples of innovation, good practice or success in terms of communications, media relations or public awareness work that you would like to share?

NAME ORGANISATION ADDRESS

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PLEASE RETURN THIS FORM TO: Home Office Communications Room 239 50 Queen Anne's Gate London SW1H 9AT OR FAX TO: 020 7273 8192 You can also email your feedback and success stories to the FRANK campaign team at frank@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk