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Young People and Drugs: a guide for school staff to support students.

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Presentation on theme: "Young People and Drugs: a guide for school staff to support students."— Presentation transcript:

1 Young People and Drugs: a guide for school staff to support students

2 Young people and drugs2 Purpose implement appropriate prevention and intervention strategies to support young people with drug use problems identify when a young person may have a drug use problem link young people and families to services and resources access drug and alcohol information services. To assist schools to:

3 Young people and drugs3 What is drug misuse? Drug misuse is any use of drugs that causes physical, psychological, economic, legal or social harm to the individual user or to others by the drug user’s behaviour.

4 Young people and drugs4 Problems associated with adolescent drug misuse Brain development in adolescence may be affected. Delayed maturation during adolescence may impede important developmental tasks. Drug use disorders are often associated with mental health disorders, suicide and a history of abuse.

5 Young people and drugs5 Prevalence of drug use among young people 12 to 17 years Table 3: Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drugs (ASSAD) Survey 2005 Students aged 12–17 years Substance Percentage reporting ever used Percentage reporting use in the last 12 months MalesFemalesMalesFemales Analgesics/painkillers Alcohol Tobacco Cannabis Inhalants Tranquillisers (non-medical use) Amphetamines (non-medical use) Hallucinogens Ecstasy Opiates Cocaine Steroids

6 Young people and drugs6 IMPORTANT NOTE Most young people who try alcohol and illicit drugs do not become problem drug users.

7 Young poeple and drugs7 Reasons young people use drugs To experiment To have fun To heighten sensations To rebel To relax To relieve boredom To fit in with peers To cope with problems Because they are available

8 Young people and drugs8 Indicators of possible drug use problems Changes in appearance and wellbeing Mood swings or significant personality change Loss of initiative Decline in academic performance Increased need for money and secrecy Intoxication at school

9 Young people and drugs9 Identifying possible drug use problems : Cautionary notes Behavioural change may be due to causes other than drug use. Drug use is not necessarily drug misuse. Drug use may increase as a result of getting into trouble for initial drug use and being labelled a ‘drug user’.

10 Young people and drugs10 Confidentiality Issues of confidentiality can arise when teachers discuss possible drug use with students.

11 Young people and drugs11 Limits of confidentiality Teachers have a duty of care to protect young people against risks of harm. Teachers should advise the principal of concerns about the welfare and safety of young people. Confidentiality may be limited by the requirements to advise the principal of concerns. Students should be advised of the limits to confidentiality from the outset.

12 Young people and drugs12 Talking to young people about possible drug use Consider who is the best person to approach the student. Express concerns that can be supported by facts. Encourage the student to talk. Listen carefully and avoid moralising. Don’t use ‘scare tactics’. Offer information or help.

13 Young people and drugs13 Strategies to support students Offer support and information Refer to the school counsellor for assessment and support Refer to outside agencies Provide school-based support as appropriate: - Learning support team - Support teacher/learning - Support teacher/behaviour - Home school liaison officer.

14 Young people and drugs14 Useful contacts for schools Drug education consultants Student welfare consultants Area School-Link coordinators NSW area health drug and alcohol services Telephone help lines Websites DET resources

15 Young people and drugs15 What is the role of the school in prevention? Providing a safe and supportive school environment where a student’s social, emotional and learning needs are met is most important in preventing drug use problems.

16 Young people and drugs16 A framework for prevention of drug use problems Quality learning and teaching Preventative drug education and student welfare programs Effective support for students at risk Home, school and community partnerships Community support Safe, supportive and engaging environment Parent involvement and support

17 Young people and drugs17 Drug prevention: Safe, supportive and engaging environment Promote a sense of belonging at school Provide support at transition points Build positive social behaviours and problem solving skills Promote pastoral care relationships

18 Young people and drugs18 Drug prevention: Quality learning and teaching Provide a curriculum that engages and meets the needs of students Ensure drug education is taught within the PDHPE curriculum K–10 and Crossroads 11–12 Teach drug education in a planned, sequential and developmentally appropriate manner

19 Young people and drugs19 Drug prevention: Home, school and community partnerships Consult parents and local community Develop positive partnerships with local area health, police and other support services to: - link students and their families to supports - ensure continuity of care for young people - strengthen response to drug issues.

20 Young people and drugs20 Referral to the school counsellor The student has been suspended Drug use is associated with high levels of risk The student appears to be drug dependent Drug use interferes with life at school and in the community Drug use is associated with other problems – behavioural, family or mental health

21 Young people and drugs21 The Stages of Change model

22 Young people and drugs22 Involving parents and caregivers Be reassuring and don’t over-dramatise Help the parents explore options Involve the student in decisions Give information and or suggest referral Allow the parents to express their concerns

23 Young people and drugs23 Supporting students whose parents use drugs Reframe perceptions of disloyalty Encourage discussion Advise young people to seek help from a trusted relative or family member Promote a positive outlook Report suspected abuse and neglect

24 Young people and drugs24 Helping students to be non-smokers Ensure students are aware of rules and consequences Do not automatically suspend for possession of tobacco Include tobacco education in PDHPE Provide information about QUIT programs or form a QUIT group Provide incentives to quit Display anti-smoking stickers and posters Use Smoke screen: a smoking prevention resource (Stages 3 and 4) Participate in The Critics' Choice


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