Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section we look at some of the basic questions about drug education.

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What do you mean by “drug”?

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We define a drug as a substance people take to change the way they feel, think or behave. This term encompasses all prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, all legal drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, volatile (sniffable) substances, and all illegal drugs covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971).

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What do you think good drug education does?

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It enablesÿchildren and young people to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to appreciate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, promote responsibility towards the use of drugs and relate these to their own actionsand those of others, both now and in their future lives.

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How do you define drug education?

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Drug education is the planned provision of information and skills relevant to living in a world where drugs are common place. Planning should include developing strategies for helping children and young people engage with relevant drug-related issues during opportunistic and brief contacts with them as well as during more structured sessions.

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Drug education provides opportunities for young people to reflect on their own and others’ attitudes ÿto drugs, drug taking and drug takers.

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Who should teachÿdrug education?

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Drugs are a subject that parents need to talk to their children about.ÿÿWe know that this can be a difficult subject and can raise strong emotions.ÿÿThere are a number of resources to help parents think about what they want to say and to help them hear what their children are saying about drugs.ÿ

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In schools, drug education is a statutoryÿpart of the national science curriculum.ÿ This means that schools must teach drug education.ÿ However, the government advise schools to use the non-statutory Personal Social and Health Education cirriculum to cover drug education.

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The youth service also deliver health education, incuding drug education, and again we think that training is helpful in getting this right.

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Many schools bring in outside speakers to help them talk about drugs.ÿ What do you think about that?

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Outside speakers can have a powerful influence on children and young people.ÿ We advise that schools – and other settings – thinking about getting an outside speaker should read the DfES guidance on this subject.

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