Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Global Youth Network – Family Based Survey

UNDOC’s Global Youth Network are running a survey of what is happing in family based work.  They say:

Please fill in this form to tell us more about your programme and return it to us!

We are collecting information on parenting and family skills drug abuse prevention programmes around the world . We greatly appreciate your assistance!

The idea seems to be to identify family programmes that try to prevent substance abuse, which are being implemented across the world and I’m sure that if you have examples you would like to submit they would be grateful.

Filed under: drug prevention, families,

Reaching Out: Think Family

The Social Exclusion Task Force have recently published what they call the analysis and themes from the Families At Risk Review.

One of the areas they look at is drugs, where they say:

It is estimated that there are 250,000–350,000 children of problematic drug users* in the UK.94 2–3% of children under age 16 have at least one parent who misuses Class A drugs, although around half of these children do not live in their parent’s care.

Drug misuse can have significant impacts upon children. Maternal drug use during pregnancy carries significant health risks for the foetus. Parental problem drug use is associated with neglect, isolation, physical or emotional abuse, poverty, separation and exposure to criminal behaviour. Over the longer term there is an increased risk of emotional, cognitive, behavioural and other psychological problems, early substance misuse and offending behaviour and poor educational attainment.

In discussing the impact of alcohol they say:

Around 1.3 million children live with parents who misuse alcohol. Studies have found that the children of parents who misuse alcohol are at a higher risk of mental ill-health, behavioural problems, involvement with the police, as well as substance and alcohol misuse.

Parental alcohol misuse also raises the likelihood of having caring responsibilities at a young age and of poor educational attainment. Children with problem drinking parents are more likely to witness domestic violence and to experience parental relationship breakdown. Alcohol misuse has been identified as a factor in over 50% of all child protection cases.

They point out that just living in a rundown neighbourhood is a risk factor for school failure, and that:

Community disorganisation and neglect, the perception of easily available drugs and a lack of neighbourhood attachment are all risk factors that make young people more likely to turn to drugs or youth crime.

The report conculdes:

Against a backdrop of increasing prosperity and progress for the majority, a small minority
of families are still experiencing poor outcomes. Their complex problems provide significant challenges to public services if we are going to break intergenerational exclusion and close the gaps in achievement. This report has shown the impact of families is rarely neutral: they can sometimes be a great source of resilience and protection, but they can also pose grave risks…

There is scope to link up the progress being made through public service reform in the children’s and adults’ sectors to create a coherent system of support for the most vulnerable families. A system that is incentivised at all levels to prevent families deteriorating and support those already facing the most chronic exclusion. A system that reintegrates families, putting them back onto the road to success and enabling them to enjoy the improved outcomes that the rest of society is experiencing. We need a system that thinks family from Whitehall to the frontline.

Filed under: families

Bouncing Back!

Adfam (a Drug Education Forum member) has produced a report detailing some of their work with families.

The Bouncing Back! programme funded six projects across the country to address these issues, developing innovative practice for engaging diverse and vulnerable families in drug and alcohol prevention work. Six projects engaged fathers, families in prison, foster families, families affected by drug and alcohol use and black and minority ethnic families in a wide range of work related to drug and alcohol prevention, including programmes building family resilience, parenting skills and drug and alcohol awareness.

They found:

The Bouncing Back! programme concluded that drug and alcohol prevention programmes can effectively engage the most vulnerable of adults and young people. However, these programmes need to be planned and developed according to diverse needs and interests.

To be effective, programmes should explore issues relating to parenting, drugs and alcohol and family diversity, employing innovative methods to fully engage, involve and empower the most vulnerable and diverse of families.

Filed under: families, risk and protective factors

About this blog

This blog tries to pick up relevant media and research stories about drug education. It mainly focuses on information in England as this is the geographical remit for the Drug Education Forum. We welcome comments that are on topic.

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July 2021