Drugs Exploitation

Information about support for young people in Oxfordshire who are vulnerable to drugs exploitation or being exploited.
Young people practising parkour in a park

People who supply drugs often sell them to children (young people aged under 18). They may even provide drugs to children for free. This is illegal and abuse, even if they are family or trusted friends, people you know, people your own age or people you trust and care for.

Crucial: You can access support to help with issues from your own drug use, or that of someone else in Oxfordshire. The Targeted Youth Support Service can help, or suggest a service that may work better for you.

What is drugs exploitation?

Some adults abuse children by getting them to deal drugs for them. The adults think this will make sure that they don't get caught or get into trouble with the law themselves.

They may offer payment or gifts, but they may also use blackmail, violence, and threats. This is called criminal exploitation.

Children who are in gangs, have problems at home or school, or who have suffered abuse are most at risk, but anyone can be targeted.

Children who are being criminally exploited are very likely to be assaulted (attacked) hurt or abused in other ways.  If this is happening to you it is important for your safety and future that you get help as soon as possible. Tell a trusted adult, like a teacher or other worker. You won't get into trouble, you will be supported.

Find out more and read case studies about young people who have suffered criminal exploitation.

Criminal Drug Exploitation

Sometimes called "County Lines", Criminal Drug Exploitation happens when criminals exploit children to sell drugs. The children may be paid some money. But are also threatened, hurt and forced into criminal activity and debt. This can also happen to vulnerable adults, including those with addictions or mental health conditions.

This video from Oxfordshire County Council Family Solutions Service explains simply how Criminal Drug Exploitation can happen - even in safe rural areas.

Support is available from the police, from Children's Services and from other agencies to help children involved in or at risk from drugs exploitation. You can also ask for help from workers at your school, youth club, or even your sports club.

Find out more

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