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UK Mom: Happy 13th Birthday, Here's Some Ecstasy

Illustration for article titled UK Mom: Happy 13th Birthday, Heres Some Ecstasy

Something's rotten in the town of Middlesbrough, England. The mayor, Ray Mallon, finds the situation very vexing, and hopes to target specific families. For instance, he tells the BBC:

"There was one where a mother gave a 13-year-old child some ecstasy tablets, hard drugs, for her birthday," the mayor said. "I just despair."



Apparently, one family is costing the town almost a million dollars:

The BBC was told that a troubled family with six children under the age of 13 was costing Middlesbrough Council more than £600,000 per year.

Three of the children were in foster care at a cost of £135,000, while the remainder were in residential care at a cost of £468,000.


Mallon is going to attempt some kind of family intervention:

Mr Mallon said that as an ex-police officer, he recognised the same family names getting involved in crime year after year.

"We should target children whilst they're in the womb," he said, "because it's clear that you can work out by the parents which kids are likely to have problems."

Which is worrisome, because, not all kids follow in their parents' footsteps, and expecting children to be criminals is a horrible attitude that could result self-fulfilling prophecies.

Then again: Ecstasy for your 13th birthday. Yikes.

Child 'given ecstasy for birthday' [BBC News]

Image via Andrew Burns/Shutterstock.

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Kat Callahan

If by target you mean by having adequate resources to deal with lower income and troubled youth, then I agree. I think you CAN tell which children will have a lower chance of breaking out of the cycle based on the lives of their parents, but the answer is to provide them adequate resources, not penalise them for the circumstances of their birth.