The Strangford MLA said: “This is a worrying development especially as the report has found that eleven year old are taking drugs that has recently been proven to increase the development of mental illness.
“More needs to be done to make sure that children are aware of the harmful consequences of using these drugs such as anxiety, depression and paranoia.
“This is also worrying news given that Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has recently turned down an application for a unit for teenagers with addictions. I would urge the Minister to make funding available for this and other initiatives that aim to solve teenage drug abuse.
“We must not let these drugs ruin our young people’s future as if they are not treated then a lifetime of addiction awaits them.
“I would also like to state my support for actions by the police in attempting to rid our society of these awful drugs but more has to be done on their behalf so that they are more successful. Those who peddle these drugs add nothing to our community and must not be allowed to continue their trade.”