Drugs

To nurture the skills of resilience is key to providing young people with the ability to cope with stress, adversity, failure and challenges. Resilience is evident when young people have a greater ability to “bounce back” when faced with difficulties and achieve positive outcomes.

Resilience is required to refuse an opportunity provided in a social group to try or take illicit substances.

Drug use is a concern in many communities. Risk taking behaviours like taking drugs, drinking alcohol, smoking and truancy tend to ‘cluster’ together, and the reasons for this are complex. Risk factors such as living in poverty, family difficulties and bullying can lead to disengagement from school, which in turn increases the likelihood of disruptive behaviour, drug smoking, drinking and drug use.The school community have a key role is preventing or delaying harmful use of drugs in children, young people.

Summary guidance provides recommendations for targeted interventions to prevent misuse of drugs, including illegal drugs, ‘legal highs’ and prescription-only medicines for schools and school communities.

By the end of primary school pupils should know:

  • The facts about legal and illegal harmful substances and associated risks, including smoking, alcohol use, and drug taking.

By the end of secondary school pupils should know:

  • The facts about legal substances and illegal substances, including drug-taking, and the associated risks, including the link to serious mental health conditions.
  • The law relating to the supply and possession of illegal substances.
  • Awareness of the dangers of drugs that are prescribed but still present serious health risks.

Hospital admissions due to substance misuse among 15-24 years has declined across England (87.9) but is still higher than a few years ago. Proportionality fewer young people across Cambridgeshire (75.6) are being admitted compared to the England average but in Peterborough (127.8) the number of admissions is significantly higher.

Cambridgeshire Peterborough East of England England
Hospital admissions due to substance misuse (15-24 years) 2015/16-17/18 75.6 127.8 75.9 87.9

 

Effective interventions for schools and communities include those which include parental skills programmes to support parents to be positive role models, and developing personal and social skills among children and young people to develop the ability to refuse an offer or opportunity to try/take illicit substances.

  • Develop a whole school approach to support and provide accurate information on drugs through education and targeted information such as the following:
    • Provide accurate information on drugs and alcohol through education and targeted information, such as via the FRANK service
    • Work with local voluntary organisations, health partners, the police and others to prevent drug or alcohol misuse services including Aspire
  • Develop a drug policy that sets out the schools’ role in relation to all drug matters, is recommended, covering:
    • The content and organisation of drug education.
    • The management of drugs and medicines within school boundaries and on school trips.
    • Have a designated, senior member of staff with responsibility for the drug policy and all drug issues within the school.
    • Develop the policy in consultation with the whole school community including pupils, parents/carers, staff, governors and partner agencies
    • Ensure that the policy is consistent with their safeguarding policy
  • Establish and manage relationships with local children and young people’s services, health services and voluntary sector organisations to ensure support is available to children and young people affected by drug misuse (including parental drug problems).

For a guided assessment in this area or for tailored support for your school, contact us.