A drug is a substance that people take to change the way they feel, think or behave. It can be legal such as medicine or illegal such as cannabis.
Medicines. All pupils need to develop competency in managing medication. In primary schools the focus will be on being safe with medicines. In secondary schools this can be expanded to knowing more about the effects and risks of drugs and drug addiction which can include addiction and misuse of prescribed medication.
Illegal drugs. Education about illegal drugs needs to start in key stage 2 and continue through secondary school. Cannabis is most common illegal drug used by 11-15 year olds and it is important for schools to reinforce the message that cannabis is harmful to health and that it is illegal. In areas of the city where the use of particular drugs is associated with gangs and crime it is especially important for teachers to focus on thse issues.
Drug related incidents. Schools need to consider their response to drug misuse, by pupils or staff, and have a policy on how to manage drug-related incidents.
For individual school support please contact Kathy Bird or Tony Ayers, Education Advisers. The HES also run courses on
- practical ideas for teaching about drug and alcohol education
- management of drug and alcohol related incidents.