Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

International Resources and Research

Pushing Back has a post about a new leaflet for parents who suspect their child may be taking drugs:

Research shows that kids start using drugs and alcohol because they feel the need to take risks or they believe it will help them fit in or feel better. Sometimes they use drugs because they are seeking relief from stress or feelings of depression. And it’s important to remember that there is, sometimes, a genetic risk for addiction — just like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases.

So how can you tell if your child is using drugs? It is difficult because changes in mood or attitudes, unusual temper outbursts, changes in sleeping habits, changes in hobbies or other interests are common in teens.

Download the leaflet here.

Meanwhile the Australian government have published a review of interventions that have been aimed at Volatile Substance Abuse. Here’s what their executive summary says about education interventions:

Australian educational authorities continue to pursue a policy of not providing education about VSM [Volatile Substance Misuse] under school-based drug education programs, on the grounds that such education may inadvertently encourage experimentation with inhalants. Some information about volatile substances is provided through occupational health and safety training. In England and Wales, by contrast, schools are required to include information about solvents in drug education programs. The UK Government is currently funding a five-year follow up study of the impact of school-based drug education on subsequent drug use.

Education targeting known inhalants appears to be ineffective when it adopts scare tactics. However, education highlighting the potential impact of VSM on valued activities, such as capacity to play sport, may be useful.

Education about inhalants for parents and professional people likely to come into contact with VSM, such as teachers and welfare workers, and for communities where VSM occurs, has been shown to be of value.

Several innovative programs have been developed using Indigenous cultural practices as vehicles for combating VSM, in particular through art forms, story telling and restoration of important caring relationships. The impact of such activities is difficult to determine, and few initiatives have been evaluated.

Skills training, remedial education and employment have all been shown to contribute to reducing VSM.

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Filed under: International, parents, research, USA, VSA

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