Substance Misuse: Drugs advice - The do's and dont'sResearch indicates that young people are more willing to learn key messages from their peers partially around topics such as alcohol misuse rather than their class teachers. Peer education decca drugs awareness an approach which empowers young people to work with other young people and draws on the positive strength of the peer group. By means decca drugs awareness appropriate training and support, the young people become active players in the educational decca drugs awareness rather than passive recipients of awxreness set message. Central to this work is collaboration between young people best test cycle for beginners adults. Peer education projects are about enabling young people to be positive role models to their peers by delivering a message about the dangers of alcohol and the associated risky behaviours, e.
DECCA Ormiston Forge Academy | It's The Drink Talking
Drugs advice can be a minefield for youth workers who want to protect young people but not break the law. John Plummer asks the specialists what information staff should and should not provide to young people.
Everything ranging from the young person's welfare to the law, privacy, health, ethics and the drug policy of the premises where the incident took place has to be considered.
Yet despite the acute sensitivity of the situation, little guidance exists. This leaves more than the young person at risk - not taking sufficient steps to prevent drugs being taken on premises under supervision carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.
The report, which builds on government guidance for schools that was published in , covers issues such as drugs education and early intervention. Break the myths But the first thing youth workers wishing to deepen their knowledge on drugs should do is to get a true picture of usage levels, says report author Dr Jenny McWhirter. Overall drug use is declining slightly among young people.
Class A drug use has been stable since , although cocaine use has increased slightly while the use of hallucinogens has decreased. Young people believe 80 per cent of their peers take cannabis when the real figure is actually 30 per cent.
There is, however, one particularly worrying trend: Not only is alcohol the drug most commonly used by young people, but the amount drunk by to year-olds has doubled since Youth work is changing to reflect this. Louise Brinkley, an outreach worker at Young Addaction, which provides drug education to teenagers and young adults in Halton, Cheshire, says: At that age they aren't interested in what could happen at 30 so we highlight the dangerous situations they could get into.
This approach may sound ultra-liberal but other drug educators agree that harm reduction has become the priority. Martin Perry, deputy executive director at the charity Hope UK, runs Open College Network-accredited two-day courses on young people, drugs and the role of the youth worker. We try to get across the message that there is a choice. One choice is to abstain but we recognise that there are others.
Legal dilemma The legal situation confronting youth work and drugs is such a minefield that Trevor Twigg, who trains youth workers on drug and alcohol issues, says he is surprised at how little training many youth workers receive. While youth workers are obliged to co-operate with the police, they also have a duty of care and the two can clash.
In medical emergencies, DrugScope recommends youth workers call an ambulance and inform their managers but whether they should give names to the police or tell parents depends on whether it puts young people at greater risk. So should youth workers ever 'shop' someone in their care to the police? He says youth workers also need to consider cultural sensitivities.
There is a lot of denial," he says. Richard McKie, senior development officer for health at The National Youth Agency, maintains that despite these kinds of legal dilemmas, youth work's flexibility is what makes it work. It's a lonely place to be at times," he says. Non-drug specialists are not equipped to deal with severe cases of dependency and should know who to refer people to.
Decca, a drug education, counselling and confidential advice team, is one such specialist service in Sandwell in the West Midlands. Lauren Booker, a day treatment worker at Decca, says the service adapts its programme every two years after surveying drug trends.
The rising alcohol problem led to the creation of the web site roughguidetodrinking. Dave Wright, co-ordinator of Decca's treatment team, has been working with young drug users for 20 years.
He says the level of specialist drug services for young people has increased dramatically over the past decade and is encouraged by the slight downturn in drug use.
Youth work's ability to consider all aspects of a young person's situation is what sets it apart from schools - Be clear what specialist drug services are available DO NOT - Attempt to destroy suspected illegal drugs yourself. Ensure there is a protocol with the police for handing them over - Feel obliged to tell police the names of young people involved in suspected drugs incidents. The immediate health and safety of young people and yourself is your priority - Get in too deep.
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