Some teenagers are using the internet to research drugs before perusing medicine cabinets for their chosen high, a counselling centre says.

Tauranga Help - the Bay of Plenty's sexual abuse and counselling centre - says a small number of youths as young as 13 are obtaining drugs such as LSD, P - pure methamphetamine - and ADHD medication and making informed, internet-aided decisions on what to take.

Counsellor and clinical supervisor at the centre Denise McEnteer has been told some children are selling drugs at school and older kids are hanging round in cars after-hours to deal. "Their access to drugs is phenomenal," she said.

Ms McEnteer said this was not restricted to schools in lower socio-economic brackets, but was "right across the board". In her five years with Tauranga Help, the number of clients aged 13 to 15 who were "wide- users" of drugs had leapt from "about half", to "about 95 per cent".

"These kids are no longer saying 'what's that?', but 'what's it going to do?," she said.

A teenage client once told her: "It's easy as. It's just like walking into a restaurant and making an order."

She was concerned technology and extensive internet search engines afforded kids the ability to research types of drugs and how to get them.

Robyn Dixon, youth educator for Tauranga Hospital's Community Alcohol and Drug Services, said illicit drugs had no age limit and had always been available. She had not noticed a particular rise in early teenage drug usage, but said they were consuming alcohol at a younger age, and this was particularly dangerous when combined with drugs.

"Teenagers are still raiding parents' booze cabinets - a lot - they just add other drugs to it."

Ms Dixon said some teenagers reported taking "pills" without knowing what they were and experiencing extreme drowsiness before passing out. These pills were believed to be benzodiazepines (tranquilisers). Some teenagers tried P, but most couldn't afford it, and cannabis and herbal highs were popular.

She said ADHD medication was prescription-only and did have a "street-value". It had a similar effect to speed on non-sufferers.

Ms Dixon urged parents to lock all medicines, alcohol and cigarettes away from temptation.

Drug Arm volunteer Dave Ludlow agreed there was much wider access to drugs for young teenagers, but said alcohol and marijuana were still the greatest evils.

He was "not at all surprised" by Tauranga Help's observations - "but for every teenager (using) there are probably 90 good ones."

Police and St John said they rarely dealt with young teenagers on hard drugs, but that didn't mean it wasn't happening.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES