Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Youth centres can contribute to drug misuse

Children & Young People Now carry a report on research to be published in an IPPR journal in which the authors – accademics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – argue that centre based youth work can lead young people to use drugs.  They are quoted in the piece saying:

Youth centres and projects bringing together young people can introduce them to new peers, therefore they may become more involved with, and influenced by, peers engaged in frequent and heavy drug and alcohol use.

The detached model avoids the potentially harmful social network effects associated with centre-based youth work and other projects that aggregate together ‘high-risk’ individuals and that can potentially introduce young people to a new network of drug-using peers.

As of this moment the article doesn’t appear to be on the IPPR’s website, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before it becomes available.

It will be interesting to see how they’ve come to the conclusions they have as when we were reviewing the evidence for the recent review of drug and alcohol education one of the areas where there was a derth of evidence was around the role of non-formal education.  However, one of the pieces that I’ve certainly had some confidence in over the last few years was the US research which seemed to point in the opposite direction.

However, if the research is robust perhaps there should be a rethink on calls to get clubs open on Friday and Saturdays.

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Filed under: research, youth service

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